2 Juvenile Court initiatives win statewide awards

Judge James Shriver

BATAVIA, Ohio (Dec. 27, 2016) – Two initiatives of the Clermont County Juvenile Court were recognized by the Ohio Department of Youth Services during its annual awards ceremony on Dec. 1.

Child Focus Inc., which provides comprehensive services to families and children in Clermont County, received the 2016 J. Thomas Mullen Achievement Award for its Multidimensional Family Therapy (MDFT) program. In the particular case recognized, Juvenile Court Judge James Shriver had referred twin brothers and their mother to MDFT. The boys had been involved in Juvenile Court and probation for several years and could have been removed from their home for continuous infractions, including substance abuse, leaving home without permission, and truancy.

Once in MDFT, the boys and their mother participated in counseling sessions together. Their mother set up and enforced household rules, which the boys followed. Their school attendance and grades improved. The boys are on track to be released from probation in the near future, Judge Shriver said.

The court’s Truancy Intervention Program was awarded the 2016 Community Recognition Award. In 2015, the court added three part-time school liaison positions to help with truancy intervention. It also added a Virtual Lab of five computers to help students complete work for high school graduation.

In the case meriting the award, a high school student was very behind in school credits. He had numerous family issues and sometimes missed school to care for younger siblings. A staffer from the Truancy Intervention Program helped him set up a plan to make up the credits. By working online through his home school and the Virtual Lab at Juvenile Court, he was able to graduate last summer.

“We are pleased that these programs, which have been demonstrated to work, were recognized by the Department of Youth Services,” Judge Shriver said. “Our goal is to help those youth who come into the Juvenile Court system to change their behavior, emerge from probation, and see a brighter future for themselves. These programs help them do just that.”