The Warren County Juvenile Detention Center hired its own Mental Health Clinician to meet regularly with detained youths. Historically, the detention center used the Warren County Juvenile Court Clinic staff (adjacent to the facility, at the Mary Haven Youth Center). The detention center clinician works collaboratively with the Court Clinic staff, as they continue to be involved with initial screening/testing of new arrivals. Children can be placed on watch over any safety concerns (psychological or medical), and they will be assessed once (or ongoing) to assure that they are safe to return to the regular check system.
Children at JDC can put in a “therapist request” at anytime, and the clinician will follow up on that child’s needs. Also, any staff can place a therapist request if they have any concerns about a child. This could be based off of direct communication, or even just an observed change in behaviors. Our staff attends ongoing trainings to help them learn signs of what to look for in children’s behaviors and presentations. The detention center clinician also attends training with staff, and provides both general and child specific feedback to staff regarding mental health issues.
The Clinician also runs groups and helps provide and develop appropriate programming to meet the children’s need. We work collaboratively with all parties involved (agency providers & county entities). We provide referrals when necessary, so that families that don’t have services in place, can then have the support needed when their child returns home. We provide mediation with parents/guardians who might be struggling with specific conflicts within the home. When requested by judicial staff, we can attend hearings or provide reports to help with any service recommendations.
We work collaboratively with parents, judicial staff, outside service providers, and probation officers to integrate mental health needs into individual or family case plans.