YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WYTV) – More at-risk teens in the region now have access to the therapies that can help change their lives, after a $250,000 grant by the Ohio Department of Youth Services.
The Mahoning and Trumbull County Juvenile Courts launched the program Friday, alongside Homes for Kids, and the Northeastern Ohio Regional RECLAIM Collaborative.
The new program will bring therapists from the group “Homes for Kids” into the homes of students who have been identified as at-risk. The referrals for the program are done through the juvenile court system.
It’s called multi-systemic therapy and targets not only the student, but the whole family.
Mahoning County Juvenile Court Judge Theresa Dellick told First News she expects the program to make a big difference in students’ lives.
“We’re going to see a difference in number one, they’ll be attending school,” Dellick said. “Number two, they will not be incurring criminal charges or appearing at juvenile court even on unruly. That’s what we start to see. Not only do you just see it in the life of the child, you see it in the life of the family.”
Mahoning, Trumbull, Geauga and Ashtabula Counties are partnering together for the service. It includes four months of in-home, individualized intensive treatment.
“This provides such a better view for the therapist provided services that are more beneficial,” Dellick said. It’s not just a cookie cutter approach. It’s one-on-one with each family.”
One big strength of the program is that it offers therapy in the family’s home, allowing the therapist to observe factors a child might forget to mention during an in-office visit.
“The student is in the home,” Dellick said. “The therapist comes into the home, is able to evaluate the family, the situation, the conditions and what are the strengths.”
Dellick says there is already a wait list for the program. It is for children referred through the courts ages 12-17 and their families.