Youth struggling with alcohol and drug issues who are in trouble with the law have complex needs. They need adults to work together efficiently and in concert to help them. That’s why we make it a priority to build local leadership across systems.
The Reclaiming Futures Fellowships
Each site has a core team of five local leaders working to make their project successful. In addition to a project director, the courts, probation, treatment and the community are represented. We call these local leaders “fellows,” as they are part of a learning community who work together as peers in applying the Reclaiming Futures model.
All five participate in the Reclaiming Futures Fellowship, a national leadership program. They share information and ideas via webinars, phone meetings, and conferences with their peers. Participants say the Fellowships are one of the most useful parts of being a Reclaiming Futures site.
Judges have a unique capacity to drive change. First, they can directly influence the substance abuse treatment that teens receive. Second, they can promote change within the judicial system that can affect the way all teens seen by the court are handled. Finally, their standing in the community can change public attitudes towards youth in the trouble with the law.
Who guides young people through the juvenile justice system? Many people have a hand, but probation officers and court administrators are central. Their influence on the services young people receive is critical to Reclaiming Futures.
Adolescent Substance Abuse Treatment Providers
Treatment providers help teens overcome drug and alcohol abuse, and work with their families to help them build a drug-free life. They use approaches backed by evidence, and that are right for teens’ culture and level of maturity.
What happens to young people when they finish probation and treatment? Can you connect them to positive activities and caring adults first? Not without help from the community. The right community leader can make your Reclaiming Futures initiative a true success.
The project director coordinates the work of the local team and keeps the project on track.