LSI (Lutheran Services in Iowa) will offer Juvenile Court Community Services for youth who have been adjudicated for the first time. The program targets first-time offenders, where trained professionals can step in to stop the behavior and prevent future involvement with the court system.

Partnering with Juvenile Court Services, LSI delivers behavioral skill development services including screening, assessment and treatment supports for referred youth and their family.

"The program is truly a benefit to youth and families, helping to reduce youth’s delinquent behaviors before they commit a serious offense," says Randy Jansen, LSI service coordinator. "Because Title 19 is not required, LSI helps fill the gap for children who don’t qualify for traditional state services."

LSI staff work with youth and their families in the home or office to create a treatment plan, such as working on anger management, coping skills, relationship-building or healthy decision-making. Support workers also screen for mental health and substance abuse issues, coordinating a treatment plan and additional services for the youth, as needed.

Juvenile court community services must be coordinated through a Juvenile Court Officer (JCO), who makes the initial referral to LSI. Families can request that their child’s JCO refer them to LSI for services. The JCO determines how often youth should meet with LSI for services, receives monthly reports and reassesses the case every 30 days.

"Our hope is also to take some of the burden off juvenile court officers, helping families get set up for additional services, such as therapy and community programs," says Jansen.

The program is available for youth in the second Judicial District, which includes 22 counties: Boone, Bremer, Butler, Calhoun, Carroll, Cerro Gordo, Floyd, Franklin, Greene, Hancock, Hamilton, Hardin, Humbolt, Marshall, Mitchell, Pocahontas, Sac, Story, Webster, Winnebago, Worth and Wright.

To make a referral, call toll-free at 888-457-4692.