Even though it was a holiday week, I ran across a number of interesting stories and resources.
Blog: Reclaiming Futures
In mid-December, we hosted our annual Project Director Fellowship in Washington, D.C. (Click on photo at left to see a larger view of a model of the U.S. Capitol that I spotted at the botanic gardens.) Project Directors from our ten original sites, our first three expansion sites, and all ten of the sites that started this past fall attended. While everyone had gotten acquainted by phone to a certain extent, nothing matches the energy, creativity and momentum of getting together in person to reflect about lessons learned, and create strategy for moving the initiative forward both locally and nationally.
Our agenda included opportunities to: get overviews of each new community joining Reclaiming Futures; compare notes about progress made thus far in sites that begain in 2007; and assess long-term changes that have occurred in the our ten original sites.
Hazel Cameron -- a Reclaiming Futures Community Fellow -- knows a thing or two about recruiting mentors for youth involved in the justice system.
Her 4C Coalition has partnered with the Reclaiming Futures initiative in Seattle for years now, successfully pairing youth with caring adults.
The Coalition just made a splash in the Seattle Times, too. (You can also find a PDF of the story here.) Congratulations to Hazel and all her colleagues!
UPDATE: The 4C Coalition recently joined the National CARES Mentoring Movement, which states that it has "mounted the largest mentor recruitment effort in the history of this nation aimed at securing the lives of our young black boys and girls." CARES has mentor-recruitment circles in 53 communities across the country, including several other Reclaiming Futures sites: Anchorage, Chicago, Dayton, and Greensboro (Guilford County). Is your community part of the movement?
Does your state have a plan for improving treatment for teens with substance abuse problems?
Jim Vollendroff and I had the privilege to attend numerous meetings and contribute to the creation of a Washington State strategic plan on adolescent substance abuse treatment. (Jim is the Chemical Dependency Coordinator for King County, WA, and a Reclaiming Futures Treatment Fellow.) The Reclaiming Futures Model was our concrete framework to assure that the entire group focused on system areas that need to be addressed and/or changed.
Here's an introduction to the plan from David Jefferson, the former CSAT Grant Coordinator housed at the Washington State's Division of Alcohol and Substance Abuse (DASA):
Physicians and Lawyers for National Drug Policy (PLNDP) has partnered with the National Judicial College to create Alcohol and Other Drug Problems: a Public Health and Public Safety Priority, A Resource Guide for the Justice System on Evidence-Based Approaches. (Order free copies for yourself and your team; download the PDF; or access it on the web.)
Dennis Reilly, Project Director of the Reclaiming Futures initiative in Nassau County, New York, continues yesterday's post:
Planning for Implementation (cont'd)
By the summer of 2008, our project was losing steam. We needed to re-energize our planning process. So we set aside a full day for a retreat (with lunch!) to finalize our plan.
Dennis Reilly, Project Director of the Reclaiming Futures initiative in Nassau County, New York, writes:
On November 14, 2008, the Nassau County Reclaiming Futures site hosted a full-day site visit for Reclaiming Futures National Program Office leaders Laura Burney Nissen, Jim Carlton, and Reclaiming Futures Anchorage coach Tom Begich. We were very pleased with the results of this meeting, and thought we should share our planning process and site visit preparations with other sites.
(Shown here are the Honorable John G. Marks, who presides over the Nassau County Juvenile Treatment Court, and Warren Graham, who directs the juvenile treatment court and co-directs the local Reclaiming Futures initiatve. Click on the image to enlarge it and see what they're holding.)
Renate Reichs is the Network Coordinator of the Reclaiming Futures site in Cook County, Illinois. She also coaches two new Reclaiming Futures sites: Forsyth County, NC; and Crossroads, NC, a collaboration of Iredell, Surry, and Yadkin counties. Last month, she made her first site visit to these sites. This is her report:
As the first, five-year pilot phase of Reclaiming Futures came to a close, each of the participating Fellowships published a report that contains highly valuable information for any community attempting to improve the way its system deals with youth caught in the cycle of drugs, alcohol and crime. (Reclaiming Futures uses professional "Fellowships" of judges, probation officers, treatment professionals, community members, and local project directors to drive change in local communities. The Fellows from all participating communities gather several times a year to share what they're learning.)
These Fellowship reports are available on the Reclaiming Futures website, but at the Project Directors' conference last week, I was asked to repost them in one place. And why not? After all, they're not just useful for Reclaiming Futures communities, they're useful for any community that wishes to change the way it does business for teens in the justice system who need addiction treatment. So, here they all are --