The Ottawa County Juvenile Court has been awarded a grant by the Supreme Court of Ohio to receive training and technical assistance from the Robert F. Kennedy National Resource Center for Juvenile Justice. Court staff and community partners will work with a team from the RFK National Center for the next year to learn research based techniques and best practices to improve outcomes for dual status youth.
The term “dual status youth” refers to juveniles who come into contact with both the child welfare and juvenile justice systems. Research consistently confirms that, in comparison to juveniles without such cross-system involvement, dual status youth present unique challenges requiring innovative ways to manage their cases.
The Ottawa County Juvenile Court was one of only two counties awarded this opportunity for the coming year.
“I believe our Court’s application was impressive because we were able to demonstrate the high level of collaboration that already exists between the Court, Children’s Services and our other community partners,” said Court Administrator Emily Gerber.
“We are thrilled to have the opportunity to work with a nationally-renowned resource for juvenile justice. I continue to commend our Supreme Court of Ohio for giving local courts access to these valuable programs,” said Judge Kathleen L. Giesler.
Today, there are 63 youth on probation at the Ottawa County Juvenile Court. Eight of those youth are currently in the custody of the Ottawa County Department of Job and Family Services. Nearly 60% of the youth on probation have had involvement with Children’s Services for either suspected or substantiated abuse or neglect at some point during their lives.