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KDOC Celebrates Launch of Therapy Program for Juvenile Offenders

by KDOC News — last modified Mar 03, 2017 11:45 AM
On Thursday in Garden City, the Kansas Department of Corrections (KDOC) celebrated EmberHope for providing a program of therapy and supervision as an alternative to removing youth from their homes or incarcerating them.
KDOC Celebrates Launch of Therapy Program for Juvenile Offenders

Shelley Duncan, EmberHope President and CEO


MEDIA RELEASE

March 2, 2017                                                                  

Contact:
Todd Fertig
KDOC Communications Director
785-296-5695

Todd.Fertig@ks.gov

           

KDOC Celebrates Launch of Therapy Program for Juvenile Offenders

On Thursday in Garden City, the Kansas Department of Corrections (KDOC) celebrated EmberHope for providing a program of therapy and supervision as an alternative to removing youth from their homes or incarcerating them.

EmberHope began providing Functional Family Therapy (FFT) services to the western half of Kansas in February.

A ceremony and reception at the Finney County Department of Corrections office brought together staff of KDOC, EmberHope and practitioners in youth services and juvenile justice from across the West Central Region of FFT to discuss the new initiative.

For the past year, courts in Southeast Kansas have been employing FFT provided by Eckerd Kids as an alternative to removing youth from their homes or incarcerating them. Now this data-driven combination of therapy and supervision for juvenile offenders is being made available to youth statewide. Cornerstones of Care will be the provider for Northeast Kansas.

EmberHope has employed FFT in Wichita for more than 15 years. With the program expanding statewide, EmberHope will be the provider for 10 judicial districts, encompassing 52 counties in western Kansas.

“We are very honored that the KDOC has chosen us to expand the FFT program that has been so successful in Wichita to western Kansas,” Shelley Duncan, President and CEO of EmberHope, said. “The reception we’ve received already from western Kansas has been phenomenal. The partnerships we’re creating will make a significantly positive impact in the lives of the youth and families and the communities we will serve.”

FFT provides therapy and supervision of youth still in their homes to help them become more adaptive and successful. For more than 40 years in numerous states, the program has been able to reduce reliance on out-of-home placement and its negative effects on the youth and family. FFT has successfully reduced recidivism from 25 to 60 percent in various states.

“We have seen the great changes it can make in a family and truly keep youth out of further involvement in the correctional system,” said Michael Brewer, EmberHope Program Manager for FFT “Reducing the number of out-of-home placements will allow a gradual process of reinvestment of resources. Over time, FFT will change juvenile justice in Kansas like it has in other states for several decades.”

KDOC reported recently that 89 juvenile-justice-involved youth and their families in Southeast Kansas entered the FFT program instead of experiencing an out-of-home placement or secure confinement. Of those, just three were placed in out-of-home settings during FFT treatment. The agency said this is much improved from results of a 2014 study that found more than 51% of Kansas youth who were discharged from a Youth Residential Center II remained out of home six months post discharge. 

“Youth who are participating in the FFT program in Southeast Kansas are responding better to treatment, not committing additional crimes, maintaining their bonds to family, and costing the state less by staying out of more restrictive settings,” KDOC Deputy Secretary of Juvenile Services Terri Williams said. “We couldn’t be more excited to see this proven program spread to the rest of the state.”

(PHOTO: Michael Brewer, EmberHope Program Manager)

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