Council Approves Agreement for New Youth Intervention Program, RESTORE
The Council unanimously approved an agreement and funding for a new youth intervention program — a partnership between the City, the Jefferson County Family Court, Jefferson County Family Resource Center and Jefferson County Juvenile Detention Center. The program is known as RESTORE.
The program will be centered around trauma-informed, mental health services and case management designed to help build on an individual’s needs and potential for success.
“This is a very thought-out and robust opportunity for this city. A lot of key components of this really stick out to me, especially the need to do away with ‘working in siloes’ as it’s been described,” Councilor LaTonya Tate said. “I really like the idea of multiple organizations partnering together to make sure our young people aren’t just going in and out of they system, but providing support to their families to make sure their environment is one that will lead to success.”
According to a presentation that was given to the Council during a recent Budget and Finance Committee meeting, the RESTORE program will provide the following for young people that qualify and have gone through Alabama’s juvenile detention system:
· Comprehensive family intake and assessment
· Intense strength-based case management
· Benefits assessment
· Pay for essential documents such as State ID
· Creation of a participant educational/career plan
· Transportation for participants
· Provision of work/training equipment, clothing, testing/certification/licensure costs
· Incentives for progress and success
· Work with families to ensure safe housing and stability
· Advocacy, systems navigation and community-based services
This program is aimed at reducing youth violence and recidivism, an issue that the Council has been focused on in recent years. In 2022, 49 youth (age 13 to 22) lost their lives to gun violence in Birmingham. During that same period, 69 percent of murder victims in Birmingham in that age range had prior Family Court contact and 83 percent of the perpetrators of those crimes came through the Family Court system.
“I do know that as a Council we’ve approved roughly $7 million for various initiatives and programs aimed at helping our young people and reducing crime in our communities. It’s absolutely been a focus of this body to help provide pathways to success,” Council President Wardine Alexander said. “When you talk how we can help young people who have gone through the judicial system, it’s so important that we support their families as well to make sure they’re coming back into a good environment. I’m very glad to see this program have such a big focus on that aspect of reducing recidivism.”
Here is the item as it appeared on Tuesday’s agenda: A Resolution authorizing the Mayor to execute and deliver, for and as the act of said City, an agreement with Jefferson County Family Resource Center (R.E.S.T.O.R.E), under which R.E.S.T.O.R.E will offer support services to 120 court-involved youth ages 16–19 and their families through the Jefferson County Family Resource Center. The program is designed to reduce criminal activity involving young people residing in the City to provide proactive, strength-based, trauma-informed, mental health services, and developmentally appropriate case management services geared to help build on participant’s potential for success. The term of the agreement is for one year and the funding amount is $225,000.00 from Professional Fees-Youth Services.