Youth who have been involved in the criminal justice system make tremendous strides in treatment. They then face the challenge of returning to their home communities, including their school system, and utilizing the skills they’ve learned. CHD’s Adolescent Re-entry Services supports both youth and their families through this challenging time.
CHD manages two sites, one in Holyoke and one in Springfield, that coordinate community reentry services for more than 100 juvenile offenders. The program is funded by DYS and the two sites also serve as regional offices for DYS caseworkers, who work collaboratively with CHD staff to provide services. Among the program’s 13 staff workers, CHD provides a community clinical coordinator, family intervention specialist, resource development specialist, site support specialists, and substance abuse case managers.
CHD also provides support services for smaller, DYS satellite offices in Northampton and at the Young Women’s Center in Springfield and the Chicopee Boys and Girls Club in Chicopee.
The CHD-DYS collaboration represents a new model and new philosophy in juvenile justice services. Case managers meet with youths out in the community finding and providing appropriate services for them and their families. They help families understand the approaches that have been helpful in treatment and learn how to use them at home. They run a parent support group and host events for families including a back to school kick off and Mother’s Day brunch. They also get kids involved in their community, whether that means helping them find a job. volunteer, join sports teams or use local community centers. They are there to support the youth and families to make the transition back to family and community life successful.