A young person’s long-term chances for success are greatly improved when his or her family is supportive and involved in the youth’s treatment process. DYRS treats the family as a partner in the youth’s treatment, rehabilitation, and return to the community.
DYRS provides the following family engagement and empowerment services:
A DYRS Family Engagement Specialist will invite parents and guardians to a one-on-one orientation session soon after their youth’s commitment to the agency. At the orientation session, the Family Engagement Specialist will make sure that parents and guardians understand the general stages of commitment and their rights while their youth is involved with DYRS. In addition, they will learn how they can play an active role in their youth’s rehabilitation. Parents and guardians will go home with a resource packet and contact information for the agency’s Family Engagement representatives.
While the family has a Family Engagement Specialist, the agency assigns the youth to a DYRS case manager or social worker. The case manager or social worker will listen to the youth’s family to understand how they perceive their youth’s needs. The DYRS case manager invites caregivers and family members to Youth Family Team Meeting along with the youth, care coordinators and other service providers. It is extremely important for families to attend because family input on the youth’s strengths and needs helps determine the best treatment and rehabilitation plan for the youth. The Youth Family Team Meeting guides the case manager’s development of an Individual Development Plan for the youth. The Individual Development Plan maps out the youth’s rehabilitation goals and the services that will be put in place to meet those goals. Services are things such as tutoring, job training, substance abuse prevention and treatment, and counseling. The case manager keeps in touch with the family.
Family-focus when Youth are Living in the Community
DC YouthLink is how DYRS provides support services to its youth living in the community. Families can talk to the youth’s DYRS case manager or social worker about the possibility of support services through DC YouthLink that include the family.
Visits and Calls
DYRS encourages families to remain connected with their youth during his or her stay in a DYRS facility or other residential facility. Each facility offers regular visiting hours and calls. Many of the facilities invite families to special onsite events such as holiday dinners and awards programs.
Family Resource Center
DYRS has a Family Resource Center for youth and their families at the agency’s 450 H Street NW headquarters. The Family Resource Center provides a safe, comfortable place to hold Youth Family Team Meetings, participate in family visits, and obtain resources about other supports and services for families.