NCCD Conference Recap: Incorporating Youth and Family Voices in Status Offense System Change Effort

NCCD Conference Recap: Incorporating Youth and Family Voices in Status Offense System Change Effort

July 16, 2014 | Daphnne Brown, Director of Family Involvement & Outreach at Families Together NYS

daphne

As someone who has both personal and professional experience with the status offense and court systems, I was pleased to present alongside staff from the Vera Institute of Justice (Vera) and the Coalition for Juvenile Justice (CJJ) at the National Council on Crime and Delinquency’s recent conference on Children, Youth, and Families.

As someone who has both personal and professional experience with the status offense and court systems, I was pleased to present alongside staff from the Vera Institute of Justice (Vera) and the Coalition for Juvenile Justice (CJJ) at the National Council on Crime and Delinquency’s recent conference on Children, Youth, and Families. Our workshop, Incorporating Youth and Family Voices in Status Offense System Change Efforts, introduced participants to CJJ’s proposed National Standards for the Care of Youth Charged with Status Offenses, which aim to promote best practice for the status offense population, and Vera’s Status Offense Reform Center.

As Vera staff presented on how to engage stakeholders in planning status offense system reform, I encouraged participants to think about how to include youth and family voices in this work since incorporating the perspectives of those directly impacted by the system is critical. For example, I provided workshop participants, who represented such diverse stakeholder groups as courts, schools, community providers, probation and mental health, with the following tips on recruiting and retaining families to be part of status offense system change efforts:

  • Recruit through known and respected community-based programs, local businesses, and schools
  • Meet at times and locations that are convenient for families and youth to participate
  • Provide food and childcare at evening meetings
  • Remember that families want to participate, so create an agenda with framing questions and room for flexibility that allows for their meaningful involvement

I hope workshop participants found the information shared to be helpful and are inspired to draw on the expertise of young people and family members with system experience when making change.

Daphnne Brown is the Director of Family Involvement & Outreach at Families Together NYS. She provides support and technical assistance to families, service providers, advocates and Families Together Chapters in the areas of family support, systems advocacy, and parent empowerment. She connects with family-run organizations to build membership, and helps communities build family involvement. She works closely with the regional Families Together Chapters. Daphnne is the parent of five children; and has both professional and personal experience with different child serving systems. Daphnne received her Bachelor’s of Science in Business Administration from SUNY at Brockport and is a PEP Trainer and has her FPA Credential.

This blog post was originally published at Vera Institute of Justice’s Status Offense Reform CenterThe Status Offense Reform Center (SORC) aims to help policymakers and practitioners create effective, community-based responses for keeping young people who commit status offenses out of the juvenile justice system and safely in their homes and communities.