07 Nov Barger motion adds comprehensive health care to improve outcomes for youth in the juvenile justice system
LOS ANGELES COUNTY – The Board of Supervisors approved a motion by Supervisor Kathryn Barger, coauthored by Supervisor Solis, to incorporate a holistic approach to care for young people in county probation halls and camps. Barger’s motion creates a new leadership position within the Department of Mental Health – the Director of Coordinated Care for Juvenile Health — who will work in collaboration with the Probation Department’s Juvenile Services unit to facilitate a continuum of care equipped to address each individual’s needs.
The Los Angeles County Probation Department supervises on average, 1,000 young people daily in juvenile halls and camps. “Many of our county’s young people within this population have experienced significant trauma, often paired with complex medical conditions which require multidisciplinary care and support,” said Supervisor Barger. “A well-coordinated and integrated plan for health and well-being should continue upon reentry into communities to help them achieve their goals and success in adulthood.”
“L.A. County is reexamining and modernizing our justice system, moving away from punishment and incarceration and towards diversion and rehabilitation – especially for justice-involved youth,” said Supervisor Hilda L. Solis, who co-authored the motion. “An executive-level Director of Coordinated Care, a trained psychiatrist, will help serve the mental wellbeing of justice-involved youth. As a result of this motion, I am confident we will see more positive outcomes.”
The Health Agency and the Chief Executive Officer working with the Chief Probation Officer and the Director of Personnel, will report back to the board in 60 days on the creation of the Director of Coordinated Care, Juvenile Health, to include hiring status and timeline moving forward.