Here to Help (H2H) is a self-guided, online, public health screening tool for youth, families, and educators. H2H is designed to help adolescents, their caregivers, and family members identify stressors that may impact their health and wellbeing and immediately connect them, should they choose, to local resources that can assist.
How it works:
- A youth or family may receive a link to the H2H tool via an email from a school or community-based organization.
- The participant engages anonymously by answering questions covering several topic areas, including mental health, substance abuse, food security, economic and housing stability, and racial equity experiences.
- The tool allows the participant to elevate their awareness of potential issues related to their health and wellbeing by navigating through a series of questions in each topic area.
- After the participant completes a module, H2H provides a list of relevant, local, and accessible resources available to assist those who might be having experiences that could adversely affect their health.
Reclaiming Futures has piloted H2H by partnering with schools and community organizations seeking screening methods to support students and families. H2H is flexible, allowing schools to connect students and their families, and faculty and staff to valuable local resources. Partners can tailor H2H to meet their needs. If desired, a school can request to collect identifying and demographic data and information on responses and response rates. In addition to technical services and support, Reclaiming Futures assists with communications strategies and implementation support. Our software development partner, Tickit Health, a Canadian software company that embraces digital empathy in its product design, offers partners digital customization to meet their identification and branding needs.
Here to Help could serve as a universal screening tool across youth-serving systems. In that capacity, the tool has the power to help providers gain a better understanding of the social determinants that impact the health, wellbeing, and life outcomes for adolescents. But more than that, it can help those experiencing a variety of stressors connect to resources that can improve outcomes for students, families, and educators.
H2H is available to organizations interested in partnering with Reclaiming Futures via a non-exclusive licensing agreement with Portland State University's Office of Innovation & Intellectual Property.
Similar to our Here to Help tool we designed for older teens, this self-guided, interactive tool serves to support a child's well-being and has been designed for younger kids, aged 5-12 and their parents. My Kid's Voice is delivered remotely and completed by repondents on a tablet, phone or computer. It helps parents identify and prioritize needs and difficulties their young child may be experiencing by having them answer questions about their child, and then having their child fill-out a brief section themselves.
There are three types of resources the tool delivers:
- Immediate tips for how parents can respond to their child’s concerns with feedback and support
- Links to resources that can help them talk to and support their child around a range of topics
- A list of locally customized community-based resources like behavioral health counseling, youth and family support programs, and food and financial assistance. This list is generated by the local contracting agency we partner with and includes any and all support services and treatment agencies, and other relevent local resources.
Respondents have the option to request to speak to a practitioner e.g., a school counselor, navigator, case manager or other support person determined by the licensee. The tool gives the respondent the option to remain anonymous, or to forego anonymity if they would rather submit an immediate request to be contacted by a support person.
My Kid's Voice is a flexible tool that can be implemented and utilized in a number of ways. For example, individual or aggregate data reports can be produced that can be useful for both individual triage and service planning, as well as policy changes at the agency and jurisdictional level. Additionally, the tool may serve as the first step in a Screening Brief Intervention and Referral sequence for families, referred to as SBIRT or Family SBIRT.
SBIRT is a public health approach for identifying, preventing and reducing harmful drug and alcohol use through a process of screening, brief intervention and referrals (as indicated). SBIRT has been implemented in settings where treatment is not typically offered or sought (e.g., primary care; education).
Reclaiming Futures version of SBIRT
With funding provided by the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation, Reclaiming Futures has developed its own manualized version of SBIRT designed for juvenile justice involved youth and their caregivers. It is based on the fundamentals of existing evidence-supported screening, participant feedback, and brief intervention/treatment approaches for youth and caregivers.
Our adaptation includes:
- Increased flexibility in session frequency. This includes at least one session to a maximum of four (youth up to three; parent/guardian up to two). The Reclaiming Futures SBIRT project staff uses a structured decision making approach that includes screening, participant feedback reports, and to determine what is most feasible and appropriate services and supports for youth.
- A highly engaging and “youth-centered” approach using Motivational Interviewing principles designed for use in non-typical settings settings (e.g., juvenile justice).
- Options for the brief intervention to focus on risk behaviors associated with the youth’s mental health in addition to substance use.
- English and Spanish versions are available.
Helping local juvenile justice jurisdictions reduce racial and ethnic disparities at key behavioral health decision points
Reclaiming Futures, in collaboration with the W. Haywood Burns Institute and Impact Justice have developed a new training and technical assistance framework aimed at helping local juvenile justice jurisdictions reduce racial and ethnic disparities at key behavioral health decision points.
This will help jurisdictions and in particular treatment diversion programs like juvenile drug treatment courts to deconstruct and measure the ways that the behavioral health decision points in juvenile justice are vulnerable to racial and ethnic biases.
The approach will begin with the way a site establishes norms and continues through the continuum of decision steps involved in the process that leads a young person into and out of treatment - or a treatment focused alternative to incarceration - after first coming to the attention of the justice system.
The continuum the approach will target proceeds from:
- An examination of norms to the practice of population screening and the use of screening tools
- The way that treatment need and program eligibility are determined through assessment and diagnostics
- How we define and respond to treatment engagement ("compliance"), progress and completion
Each of these decision steps is highly subjective and can be the source of racial bias in settings like juvenile treatment court where we know that kids of color are not succeeding.
The training and TA approach helps sites realize the need to examine and measure the disproportional impact that these decision points can generate and offers a strategy to track this and take corrective action.
Training and Technical Assistance Center (RF-TTAC)
Reducing the number of youth involved in the juvenile justice system who have behavioral health concerns
The RF-TTAC addresses the complexities and challenges of developing multi-sector teams to improve collaboration while promoting opportunities for staff training and development. Its primary goal is to reduce the number of youth involved in the juvenile justice system who have behavioral health concerns through our 6-step model.
Using a Learning Collaborative methodology, RF-TTAC takes science to service to improve the systems and services in which youth and families involved in juvenile justice interact.
The RF-TTAC provides a variety of training and technical assistance including:
- Youth interventions
- Specialized technical assistance
- National fellowship membership
- National meetings
For customized training and technical assistance tailored to your jurisdictional needs, contact us.
Reclaiming Futures understands the importance of helping schools:
- To develop the capacity to properly identify and support the behavioral health needs of students.
- To see the relationship between these needs and behavior that often leads to exclusionary discipline, school-based arrest and/or referral to the courts.
We have begun integrating our public health strategies with school discipline reform efforts by partnering with schools in King County, WA and Charlotte Mecklenberg NC to implement our adapted SBIRT model in truancy and school-based arrest diversion programs.
We look forward to partnering with other school districts around the country to integrate elements of the Reclaiming Futures model with local efforts to reform outdated school discipline practices, address racial and ethnic disparities and improve schools’ capacity to identify and respond to student’s behavioral health treatment needs.
Working in tribal communities
Reclaiming Futures has begun working in tribal communities: with the Yurok community where we are developing an adaptation of our SBIRT model for tribal youth; in Northern California; and in Nebraska where we are providing training and technical assistance to help the Winnebago adopt the RF six step approach within their new crisis intervention center.
Much of our tribal work has been in partnership with the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges, Center for Court Innovation in NYC and the Oklahoma University Health Sciences Center Indian Child Trauma Center. Read about how we approach tribal work:
The Path Forward: Helping Tribal Courts Build and Sustain Culturally Resonant Screening and Brief Intervention Practices:
Updated: November 10 2020