2023 Provider Summit Celebrates Home-Based Service Access, Outcomes

2023 Provider Summit Celebrates Home-Based Service Access, Outcomes

Monday, August 28, 2023

The Juvenile Justice Home-Based Initiative (JJHBI) began in 2016 with the goal of reducing recidivism and the number of out-of-home placements of probation youth, by increasing the access to and utilization of evidence-based services delivered in the home ecology of probation youth. To realize these goals, two services were identified at the start of the JJHBI as intensive, in-home interventions: Multisystemic Therapy (MST) and Boys Town’s In-Home Family Services (IHFS). A description of each of these services is provided at the end of this article.

Probation Administrator Deb Minardi opened the event with a powerful message on the importance of keeping youth at home though the use of evidence-informed services.

Thanks to the foundational support of the Sherwood Foundation and the Scott Family Foundation, JJHBI has been established as a unique, intensive collaboration between probation and service provider stakeholders to actively engage and advance shared work toward collective goals of youth success. This collaboration led to the first JJHBI Provider Summit, held in 2018. The annual Provider Summit had previously proven its value as an essential time for in-person relationship development. However, due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, the event has been on a hiatus since 2020. The return of the JJHBI Provider Summit gathered a total of 43 stakeholders in Lincoln on Tuesday, May 23, 2023. This event was designed to realize clear goals:

  • Celebrate recent successes of the Home-Based Initiative in Nebraska
  • Gain knowledge of Home-Based Initiative efforts to grow services across the state
  • Enhance organizational alliance and collaboration toward the realization of JJHBI goals

One of the JJHBI successes celebrated in 2023 is the achievement of expansion of services. Prior to JJHBI, MST services were available in 6 Nebraska counties. At the time of the last Provider Summit in 2019, Nebraska had seen growth of services to 55 counties. Currently, MST and IHFS services have grown to serve youth living in 80 of Nebraska’s 93 counties. The map below shows the combined current coverage area of all MST and IHFS providers.

The JJHBI Provider Summit was a time to identify ways and means for continual improvement of services and collaboration. National experts on in-home services provided a foundation of MST and IHFS service models to anchor conversations throughout the day. Chief Probation Officers, and their staff, joined with service providers from urban, rural, and frontier coverage areas to engage in deliberative discussions about building on youth success and overcoming barriers such as staffing shortages, increasing demand for mental health treatment, and the need for balance in caseloads and travel time.

The critical role of objective evaluation of standardized service models to meet individualized needs were balanced with the costs of launching, sustaining, and assessing such programs. The AOCP’s commitment to investing in growth and sustainability of quality services was a clear theme for the event.

Here’s what attendees had to say about the event:

  • “I enjoyed this and great job putting this together!
  • Wonderful attendance which shows the investment in this work!”
  • “This was one of the most beneficial and useful trainings I've had being in Probation for 5 years. LOVED the in-depth content, the platform to discuss the services, etc.”
  • “People's needs were considered very thoroughly.  Materials, both written and electronic to fit different learning styles, very strength and celebration focused.”
  • “Ability to meet face-to-face and collaborate with other system partners and both express and feel the appreciation for everyone’s efforts.”
  • “It was valuable to have MST and IHFS present on the services they provide. It was very helpful to meet several providers in person and discuss concerns and successes.”

Plans are underway to continue the work at the 2024 Provider Summit next spring.

Multisystemic Therapy (MST) is the premier evidence-based service for high-risk probation youth with complex needs. MST applies a behavioral analytical process that focuses on leveraging the family ecology to implement and sustain interventions that eliminate the need for continued justice involvement. Centering on the ultimate outcomes of youth remaining in the home, in school or working, and free of law enforcement citations, the work of Nebraska MST agencies continue to show high alignment with national averages for youth success. MST is rated as an “Effective” program by the National Institute of Justice and OJJDP’s Model Program guide (the Crime Solutions clearinghouse), and is endorsed as a “Model+” certified program by Blueprints for Health Youth Development.

Boys Town’s In-Home Family Services (IHFS) has been rated as a Promising Practice by the California Evidence-Based Clearinghouse. IHFS applies Boys Town’s evidence-based Common Sense Parenting® program to build on existing skills or learn new ways of managing youth behaviors with caregivers to create lasting change in a youth’s family/social ecology. Today, IHFS is showing high rates of youth achievement in staying at home, in school, and free of law enforcement citations, as a result of services provided by both Boys Town, and service replication agencies CEDARS Youth Services and Educational Service Unit 13.