Community Evaluation Teamgetting families ‘back on track’ | PostIndependent.com

Community Evaluation Teamgetting families ‘back on track’

Carrie Click

Despite budget cuts that have left YouthZone, Garfield County’s youth services organization, operating at two-thirds capacity from its 2000 budget, executive director Debbie Wilde says regional youth and their families are continuing to be served throughout the region.Even so, the agency isn’t able to extend its reach as far as it used to, Wilde said. “We used to be able to fill in the gaps between, for example, the sheriff’s office and the juvenile justice system,” Wilde told Garfield County commissioners during their regular meeting Monday.Still, Wilde said there’s plenty of good news to report regarding the amount of youth her agency is able to serve.One way is through YouthZone’s Community Evaluation Team. Indra Briedis, CET coordinator, reported that during the past year, the brainstorming group was able to help more than 60 families get “back on track.” She said the team, which includes counselors, probation officers and representatives from all three of the county’s school districts, YouthZone, Colorado West Mental Health and the Emily Griffith Center, meets monthly to discuss resources and ways to help families dealing with a variety of youth issues.The CET distributed $30,000 in county funds in the past year to support families. Briedis said $11,000 was spent on counseling, $6,500 went toward mentoring programs and $7,500 was allocated for recreational opportunities.School counselors, teachers and other agency representatives first recommend a youth and their family be considered for discussion at a CET meetings, Wilde said.”The CET allows people from four or five different agencies to put their heads together to come up with ways to support these families,” added Wilde. Following Wilde and Briedis’ presentation, Commissioner John Martin acknowledged the agency’s work.”Thank you very much for your dedication,” he said. For more information about YouthZone’s Community Evaluation Team, call 945-9300. Contact Carrie Click: 945-8515, ext. 518cclick@postindependent.com


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