Daquan, a Dual-Status* youth, finds long-term support and success.
The Juvenile Court Clinics access critical services for older youth involved in both the child welfare and juvenile justice systems.
17-year-old Daquan was coping with PTSD and depression after witnessing domestic violence throughout his childhood. DCF had taken custody of Daquan and his siblings, but Daquan was still struggling. He was hospitalized and when he returned to school, he was involved in a fight and charged with Assault and Battery. Because he could not return home, Daquan was placed at a Short-term Assessment and Rapid Reintegration program (STARR) where he received trauma-focused therapy, attended school regularly, and was a model resident. Because reunification with his mother was still not possible, Daquan needed a long-term plan. The Judge requested a Dual-Status Case Conference at the Juvenile Court.
The Juvenile Court Clinician and Case Manager organized a Dual-Status Case Conference that included Daquan’s providers, attorney, and probation officer. The group addressed Daquan’s needs, starting with his living situation. They recommended that DCF place Daquan in a therapeutic foster home and that he receive support toward earning his high school diploma. The group engaged Y-AIM advocacy, a program that provides support to teens to help them complete high school. Finally, they recommended the Sibling Connections program to facilitate reconnecting Daquan with his siblings, whom he had not seen since being placed outside his home.
Six months later, before the Judge in open court, the Case Manager gave a hopeful report on Daquan’s progress. He was residing in a foster home where he felt truly valued. He was attending school regularly, his grades had improved, and he was on track to graduate. Daquan was enjoying weekly Sunday visits with his younger siblings. He was committed to supporting them and hoped to gain custody of them in the future. He was about to complete probation and had not acquired any new charges. As he neared his 18th birthday, Daquan decided to continue with DCF and remain in his foster home until his 22nd birthday. Those involved with Daquan knew he would continue to face challenges—but he now had every reason to hope for a better future.
*A term used for children involved in both the child welfare and juvenile justice systems.
* To protect confidentiality, MAJCC does not use the names or identifying features of clients. A photo from thinkstock.com is used to illustrate the story.