Placement Prevention Programs
Placement prevention programs in Santa Cruz County were initially established in 1997 with general county funding. In 2004 services were expanded through the acquisition of SB163 Wraparound funding through the state of California. There are three probation officers in this unit with each officer having a caseload of up to 15 youth comprised of 8 Wraparound youth and 7 Family Preservation youth. The youth on these caseloads generally have been on one or more of the intensive caseloads and are in danger of being removed from their homes and ordered into an out-of-home placement due to their behavior in the community and/or continued criminal activity. Following a presentation to, and approval by, the Placement Screening Comittee, probation officers recommend to the Court that certain minors be ordered into these placement prevention programs. An option of having a Parent Partner is available for parents/guardians of youth involved in both programs.
The Wraparound Program is a multi-system, family driven, strength-based treatment approach, aimed at keeping youth successfully on probation and in their homes. Each wraparound probation officer is a team member in a Child and Family Team consisting of the youth, their family, a Children's Mental Health team facilitator, a family specialist (Substance Abuse Services clinician), a parent partner, and any other supports identified by the family. Wraparound supports values of teamwork, cultural awareness, communication, and personal responsibility. Youth are active team members in the development of individualized, family-driven case plans and are encouraged to participate in programs such as anger management, drug treatment, and victim awareness on an outpatient basis. Youth and parents are provided with other outpatient services such as individual skill building activities, educational advocacy, substance abuse services, parent support and coaching sessions as well as linkages to community resources and activities for youth and families.