With Washtenaw County Juvenile Court
The Washtenaw County Juvenile Court (WCJC) has partnered with the Youth Policy Lab to improve outcomes for court involved youth and their families in Washtenaw County. The collaboration will focus on two program areas: developing an effective parent engagement program and improving outcomes of its Intensive Probation program.
WCJC is launching a suite of programs that support and address the needs of families of court-involved youth, including skills training, therapeutic services and a new multi-systemic therapy program. The first of these initiatives is the Parent Project, a parent training program that WCJC has selected to support positive parenting strategies for court-involved youth. The Lab will help evaluate the impact of these programs by analyzing administrative data, and conducting focus groups and/or surveys. We will then advise on possible program modifications based on site-specific findings and research in the field.
The Intensive Probation program serves young people who would otherwise be placed in residential programs. WCJC was one of the first courts in Michigan to develop such a program and did so in collaboration with experts in the field. However, since its inception, the program has evolved due to changes in staffing, populations and funding. WCJC is interested in evaluating the current program and identifying strengths and weaknesses toward future improvement. The Youth Policy Lab will work with WCJC to solidify the program’s alignment with best practices in the field. Small scale, iterative testing and quality improvement work will be done with the ultimate goal of reducing recidivism and improving outcomes for youth in the Intensive Probation program.