The DCS Oversight Committee did meet in May after a hiatus since October 2013, and since being named a task force under the umbrella of the Commission on Improving the Status of Children. The meeting minute are here.
Of note is item four, which discusses the DCS Clinical Resource Team. DCS employee feedback is that this team can be invaluable. So, there have been repeated calls for juvenile delinquents involved in the juvenile court system and who have complex mental health needs to have access to this team. This is supported by the increasing acknowledgment that many of our delinquents are “crossover youth” with a history of CHINS involvement also. So far these requests have been rebuffed due to staffing limitations, according to DCS staff at various meetings, including regional service council meetings. As the next legislative session draws closer with the state budget as a key factor, this needs to be a consideration when determining the DCS budget.
We need to stop treating our children differently. If children who appear in juvenile court have similar needs, it should not matter whether the child is classified as a CHINS or a delinquent. The priority is helping all of our children regain health, grow, and contribute to society.