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Care Coordination

Care Planning and Coordination

DYRS seeks to shape each youth's rehabilitation process from beginning to end by providing individualized case and care planning, management, and monitoring.

Each youth’s first connection with the DYRS Care Planning and Coordination Team (also known as Case Management), is during the pre-commitment phase. The purpose of pre-commitment is to thoroughly assess and determine the most appropriate rehabilitation plan for a youth, if committed to DYRS. Pre-commitment occurs when Court Social Services (CSS) files a Notice of Intent to Recommend Commitment (NOITRC) with the Superior Courts of the District of Columbia (DCSC). This notice may be filed for a number of reasons including, but not limited to: your child’s re-arrest, noncompliance with supervision or probation under CSS, abscondence (runaway), or due to a judge’s order for the filing. A NOITRC does not have to be submitted for a youth to be committed.

The DYRS Care Coordinator plays a pivotal role in the success of the youth committed to the Agency. Throughout a youth’s commitment, this professional has multiple responsibilities to ensure that the needs of the youth are met. This professional serves as:

  • Youth and family advocate
  • Communicator of decisions regarding the youth
  • Developer of success plans
  • Monitor of youth progress
  • Bridge between the youth, DYRS and service providers and more


Case Planning Process

Once a judge commits a youth to DYRS, the agency is responsible for all decisions regarding the youth’s placement and rehabilitation plans. This determination involves the following process:

Review of Court Recommendations
When making placement decisions, DYRS gives great weight to the Court’s recommended plans for treatment and supervision.

Review of Reports and Assessments
DYRS staff reviews disposition reports, social studies prepared by Court Social Services, psychological and psychiatric evaluations, psycho-educational evaluations, and discharge summaries from other programs and placements.

Mental Health and Substance Use Disorder Assessments
DYRS staff at the Youth Services Center and New Beginnings Youth Development Center includes licensed clinicians and behavioral health specialists. For youth placed in either of these facilities, DYRS staff conducts mental health and substance use disorder assessments as clinically indicated.

Risk Assessment
When determining the youth’s required level of supervision and placement, DYRS assesses the youth’s risk of re-offending by using a validated, data-driven tool called Structured Decision Making (SDM). The SDM tool uses factors such as committing offense severity, prior offenses, and peer relationships.


What to Expect

As your child begins the commitment process with DYRS, you play a pivotal role in his or her journey. DYRS is intentional about respecting youth and families by fostering active engagement every step of the way.

First Step

You and your child will be invited to complete a comprehensive assessment with a member of the precommitment team.You will then be invited to an orientation session for caregivers, where a DYRS Family Engagement Specialist will explain the different types of placements (also referred to as the Continuum of Care) at DYRS, as well as what  your child’s rights and yours are throughout your child’s commitment. The Family Engagement Specialist will further explore how you can maintain an active role in your youth’s rehabilitation. Lastly, you’ll be given additional information to take home and refer to throughout your child’s commitment.

Second Step

You and your child will be invited to a Team Decision Meeting (TDM) with a DYRS Care Coordinator and other service providers. This is the most important meeting for you to attend, as it will begin to shape the plans for your child throughout his or her commitment. During the TDM, insight and input from you and your family on your child’s strengths and challenges will drive the creation of a tailored Individual Success Plan (ISP). One size does not fit all. Your child’s plan will be as unique as he or she. Your child will live at home or in a secure community or residential facility while committed to DYRS and receiving services. You should expect to be in frequent contact with the Care Coordinator assigned to your child, as well as other DYRS team members and/or partners such as a DC YouthLink service provider and/or Credible Messenger.

If your child is placed in a secure residential facility, they will live in a gender-specific age appropriate setting. You will be able to connect with a Juvenile Justice Institutional Counselor (JJIC) who will communicate with you about your child’s day-to-day experiences in the facility.

Moving Forward

You will receive regular updates on your child’s progress, and will be able to call and visit your child at scheduled times. You will be involved in future TDMs and able to participate in a range of activities to encourage you and provide support throughout your child’s commitment and their safe return home. All DYRS team members are a resource and will strive to maintain a loving, safe, and secure environment for every youth in our care.

If you have any concerns or questions, please contact the DYRS Care Coordination Team at [email protected]


Team Decision-Making Meetings

A Team Decision-Making (TDM) Meeting is a structured planning and decision-making process that will draw upon the youth and family’s strengths, experiences, knowledge, and resources to create a strength-based plan for DYRS committed youth.  A TDM Meeting is held every 90 days and uses a restorative practice to restore and preserve family and community connections.  An Individual Success Plan (ISP) is developed to describe the services and needs, such as education, mental health services, tutoring, job training, or substance abuse prevention, to assist the committed youth with the opportunity to become a more productive citizen consistent with public safety.

For more information, please contact Ursula FisherTeam Decision Making Meeting Supervior at [email protected]