NYS Justice Center eNews- July 2019
Justice Center Hosts Regional Conferences
The Justice Center has launched its series of regional conferences, slated to take place across the state this year. The first conference took place in Albany on May 22 and the second was held in New Hampton on June 24 with three more to follow.
The regional conferences are an opportunity for stakeholders to become familiar with the agency, as well as ask questions. The first part of each conference features presentations by the executive team, including updates and information on current initiatives, an overview of data and trends based on reports to the agency’s Vulnerable Person’s Central Register, upcoming training opportunities, and available resources. Participants are then able to choose one of four breakout sessions to attend in the afternoon. They focus on individual and family support services, pre-employment checks, abuse prevention, and Justice Center processes. Registration is free and open now!
“Spotlight on Prevention: Preventing Intestinal Obstructions” Released
The Justice Center has released a new Spotlight on Prevention about preventing intestinal obstructions. People who have compromised health conditions and/or use certain medications may be at higher risk of intestinal obstructions. Untreated obstructions can result in serious harm to a person’s health.
The Justice Center has produced several materials meant to help providers and staff identify intestinal obstructions and take steps to get it treated immediately. Those materials include a fact sheet, a list of medications and other risk factors for constipation, information on preventing obstructions, and a series of case studies for use in training called “Could This Happen in Your Program”. Analysis of data from reports made to the Justice Center show intestinal obstructions to be a common issue. Because of that, the Justice Center has
All materials are available for download on the Justice Center’s website.
Code of Conduct Award Nominations Closing Soon
Nominations will be closing soon for the Justice Center’s Code of Conduct Awards. The honor is given to four individuals who embody the ethical standards outlined in the Code of Conduct for Custodians of People with Special Needs. The Code provides a framework intended to assist staff to help people with special needs “live self-directed meaningful lives in their communities, free from abuse and neglect, and protected from harm.” The deadline for nominations is Friday, July 12.
Justice Center Launches New Website
The Justice Center has launched a new agency website. While the address of the site remains the same, the functionality has been improved and the site is now mobile-friendly.
Users who visit the site will find a completely new layout. The Justice Center used analytics about the most used sections of the site as well as general feedback to create the new version. The website features prominent sections on the agency’s advocacy and prevention work. It also highlights videos produced to help introduce the general public and the workforce to the agency. In addition, all phone numbers and email addresses are able to be launched with just a touch on a mobile device or click of a mouse.
Justice Center Co-Sponsors Child Abuse Summit
Several staff members including Special Prosecutor/Inspector General Rachel Dunn participated in the two-day 2019 Bivona Child Advcacy Center’s annual Child Abuse Summit in April. The event was co-sponsored by the Justice Center.
Dunn (pictured left) delivered opening remarks for the second day of the conference. She highlighted the vital work the Justice Center performs on behalf of people with special needs and the critical importance of working together with law enforcement, advocates, individuals and their families, providers, and the public. Olympic gold medalist and sexual assault survivor Aly Raisman was the keynote speaker for the event.
Justice Center staff members met with attendees and offered agency materials at an information table as well.
The Charlton School: Commitment to Family Engagement
The Charlton School is a therapeutic learning community for girls located in Burnt Hills, NY. Many of the girls receiving services are referred to the program from their school district which is often hundreds of miles away. The home district will only refund the travel costs for four visits a year. Recognizing the importance of family therapy and involvement to the growth, healing, and continued success of girls in care, Charlton made it a priority to find a solution that would allow families to visit and participate in the therapeutic experience regularly.
Two years ago, the agency set out to expand its Family Connections program. The program is funded solely through donations. The goals of the Family Connections program are: each family will attend every school function; each family will participate in one on-campus family therapy session monthly; any family will be able to visit and have accommodations at anytime throughout the year.
To achieve their goals, Charlton School renovated and converted an old building on campus to include five bedrooms and a kitchen, which allows families to spend the night or weekend at no cost to them. The agency also created the new position of Family Connection Coordinator, so that one staff member is responsible for travel coordination and family engagement goals.
Since the start of the program, Charlton has provided nearly 125 nights of accommodations to family members. Charlton estimates that the program has saved families close to $10,000 in hotel costs. The program has allowed for greater transparency, offering improved understanding of the programming the girls receive, while also alleviating parents’ anxiety about the quality of care. Girls receiving treatment who are struggling or who may feel that Charlton may not be a great fit can invite their family to come stay on campus, allowing them to experience the program and provide reassurance and support. The program has also resulted in increased communication between families and Charlton staff, serving to improve understanding of the girls’ needs and the ability to address them. Charlton Executive Director, Alex Capo, has advice for agencies looking to expand or start a Family Connections Program: “there is a fear factor of not wanting a parent to see you during a vulnerable time, but the family is part of the team.”