The FGIRJC Youth Services Team provides support for youth and families that ranges from preventative to reparative. Services are designed and delivered to support participants at all levels of risk from preventing youth from having juvenile justice involvement, to supporting them in growing through navigating court and community supervision and exiting justice involvement in a better place then when trouble started.
The Youth Services Department is comprised of following programs:
Balanced and Restorative Justice (BARJ)
The Balanced and Restorative Justice (BARJ) program is a collaborative effort with Vermont’s Department for Children and Families that seeks to provide support to young people who are at risk of criminal justice involvement or currently involved with the juvenile justice system. The program provides risk screening, skills programming, 1-on-1 support, restorative processes and restitution services. The BARJ program engages with youth at all points of the juvenile justice involvement, from preventative work, through court involvement and community supervision, to completion of reparative work and moving forward as positive members of the community.
Juvenile Court Diversion
FGIRJC joins with youth, families, victims and the community to provide restorative responses to Franklin and Grand Isle Family Court cases that are referred to Juvenile Court Diversion. FGIRJC staff work with young people who have engaged in harmful behavior to support them in taking accountability and addressing the impact of their actions. Youth and their families collaborate with staff, victims and community members through Restorative Panels and Restorative Circle processes to develop consensus on how to effectively repair damage and move forward in a positive manner.
Youth Substance Awareness and Safety Program
FGIRJC provides youth who are cited for cannabis and alcohol possession or distribution with opportunities to evaluate their current use and needs for support through this civil diversion program. Participants’ needs related to substance use are explored through engagement with staff and completion of a screening. Resources are provided based on the results of that process and can include completion of further substance use evaluation, onsite skills programming or referral to other FGIRJC programming. If participants choose not to participate or do not complete the requirements, their citations are removed from the Youth Substance Awareness and Safety Program diversion process and issued to the Vermont Judicial Bureau.
Other Youth Programs
Risk Screening: FGIRJC’s BARJ program administers the Youth Assessment and Screening Instrument (YASI) prescreen. This tool is used to better understand whether youth are at risk for further involvement in the juvenile justice system and what aspects of a youth’s life might be contributing that risk.
Skills Sessions: FGIRJC’s BARJ program engages youth in sessions designed to build skill and awareness related to: self-regulation, accountability, goal-setting and change, healthy relationships and positive masculinity, mindfulness, regulated driving, financial literacy and workforce development.
Restorative Processes: FGIRJC engages youth and families in Restorative Processes through its Juvenile Court Diversion and BARJ programs.
Restorative Panel: FGIRJC collaborate with a young person responsible for harm, a panel of community volunteers and participating victims to repair harm and move forward in a more positive manner.
Restorative Circle: FGIRJC staff, the young person and victims utilize a Restorative Circle framework, in which all parties gather together to share experiences and ideas for moving forward. The group agrees on a plan for repair of harm and then reconvenes to review progress and determine whether the circle can be closed.
Ongoing 1-on-1 Support
FGIRJC’s BARJ program works individually with youth and families to:
-Formulate and pursue goals
-Understand and manage behavior
-Repair harm and rebuild relationships
-Connect with nature and other prosocial activities
-Navigate challenges at home, in school and in the community
-Connect with peers in positive settings
-Successfully navigate juvenile justice involvement
FGIRJC Skills Sessions:
Driving My Mind and Body engages youth in conversations and hands-on work to build skills in identifying, exploring and managing emotion and behavior. Driving My Mind and Body is a skill-building tool that is typically facilitated over 2-5 sessions, while providing exercises that can be incorporated as recurring elements of ongoing client work. The work begins by inviting participants to explore the range and intensity of emotions they experience in different situations.
Owning My Decisions engages youth in conversation and work related to motivation and change with the goal of locating ownership in past and future actions and empowering change capacity.
Making Change Real builds on the work with youth around change processes and decision-making that happened through the previous skills session, Owning My Decisions. This session provides participants with specific goal-setting strategies and opportunities to try them out.
TRUE is designed to build on the work of companion FGIRJC skills sessions, Driving My Mind and Body, Owning My Decisions and Making Change Real. TRUE brings together ideas from all of these classes and engages youth in discussions and visioning around who they want to be in the world and how they can set the stage for that to happen.
Building Mindfulness provides participants with an introduction to the concept of mindfulness and provides opportunities to explore it’s application to challenging moments in their lives.
Other FGIRJC Skills Offerings: Internet Safety, Healthy Relationships (Live Respect), Driving with My Full Brain, Financial Literacy and Finding a Job and Building a Career