As the COVID-19 pandemic has increased the need for mental health services across the country, officials in Carroll County are working to provide young people and their families with the resources they need.
On Thursday, commissioners approved a request from the Department of Citizen Services to accept an $80,000 grant from Maryland’s Department of Juvenile Services to help “connect youth with mental health needs and their families to community services.” , to keep young people at home and to turn them away. of adjudication within the juvenile justice system,” according to Gabby Zelaya, head of the local management board.
The state is implementing a behavioral health diversion initiative across Maryland. The Carroll County Youth Service Bureau, in partnership with the state, provides behavioral health case management services to youth and their families at risk or currently involved with the Maryland Department of Juvenile Services.
CCYSB staff assess needs and facilitate connections to community services, as identified during the referral and registration process. Participants also have access to a continuum of behavioral health services.
“FY23 funding will allow the program to continue to operate by covering staff costs,” Zelaya said. “Historically, this program has been in high demand and has had positive outcomes associated with engaging participants in program goals and reducing recidivism.
Carroll County Latest News
As it happens
If there’s big news, be the first to know.
She said that between fiscal year 2019 and fiscal year 2021, the program received an average of 38 referrals each year; 23 references were received during the first half of the 2022 financial year.
“On average, 92% of youth served in this program from (fiscal year 2019 to fiscal year 2021) achieved the goals outlined in their action plans, which included behavioral health and additional community support services,” Zelaya said, adding that 93% of young people served in the first half of fiscal 2022 met their plan targets.
Another key measure of the program’s success relates to recidivism, she said. From fiscal year 2019 to fiscal year 2021, an average of 89.8% of youth participants did not incur new charges after one year after completing the program.
The rates reported for the first half of FY2022 are similar in that 84% of these youths had a year off and did not incur new charges.
“This is extremely important,” said Commissioner Dennis Frazier, a Republican representing District 3. “The mental health aspect is so often overlooked. … This is something we have to follow.
Commissioner Eric Bouchat, a Republican from District 4, praised Citizen Services staff for their efforts.
“I think the return on investment that we get for the dollars that we spend is huge, because otherwise the sheriff’s department would be dealing with these individuals evolving into something worse as adults,” he said. declared.