The Genesee County 7th Judicial Circuit Court Family Division recently implemented an Intensive Family Support (IFS) program to provide services and support to at-risk youth and families in their community. The program aims to improve school engagement and attendance and prevent youth from entering the juvenile justice system through court petitions related to truancy and educational neglect.
The IFS program involves early intervention and referrals to supportive services pre-petition. Youth and families work with Easterseals case managers who provide intensive case management, connect them to needed services, and work closely with schools to monitor progress.
Since implementing the program, Genesee County has seen a significant drop in the number of petitions filed for truancy and educational neglect. In FY2021/2022, these petitions went from 27% and 14% respectively down to 10% and 1% of total petitions. The program has received positive feedback from schools, courts, and families on the impact of having supportive services versus traditional court intervention.
To learn more about the promising practices and positive results of the Genesee County Family Court’s Intensive Family Support program, read the full PDF report attached. It provides details on their implementation, collaboration, established protocols, results, and recommendations for replicating similar programs. This innovative approach highlights the potential for supportive services to put youth on a better path and avoid formal court involvement.