A closer look at CYS' array of programs
Page 1 A year of transition Scott Hanauer, left, became CEO after the retirement of Charles Shelan, right. No wrong door How do things at CYS really work? While it may seem complex, it’s actually quite simple. Research indicates that young people who experience homelessness, and who are in need of transitional housing, are often challenged with behavioral health, education and substance-abuse issues. All of those challenges can be addressed within the CYS’ system of care. Community Youth Services provides coordinated services that are unprecedented in Washington State. Page 2 It’s easy to say that 2015 was a milestone year for CYS. Charles Shelan, our CEO for more than 35 years, retired July 31. Luckily, he gave us plenty of notice early in the year were able to identify Scott Hanauer, the longtime clinical director at CYS, as our choice to lead the agency forward. With his long experience in youth services, at CYS and elsewhere, Scott was an easy choice. But a change at the top of any enterprise, especially replacing someone like Charles, who built and grew CYS into its present form, is nonetheless daunting. Charles and Scott worked together for months to plan and accomplish a seamless transition. Scott has stepped into his new role as CEO in a way that has quickly earned the respect of board, staff and community. Changing top leadership is plenty for an agency to deal with in a calendar year, but CYS did much more than that in 2015. Some highlights: TACOMA-PIERCE COUNTY: In September CYS was chosen to replicate several of our programs in Tacoma and Pierce County. Our street outreach and young adult shelter efforts began operations in December. We hope soon to have a drop-in center and crisis residential center there as well. MENTAL AND BEHAVIORAL HEALTH: In 2015, CYS continued to expand its mental and behavioral health programs for young people in both Thurston and Mason Counties. In fact, we began moving toward opening offices in Mason County, to provide expanded services there. COORDINATED CARE: The agency continues to modernize its electronic record capabilities, while maintaining stringent safeguards to confidentiality. This new capability helps case managers work in a coordinated way with those who may be participating in several CYS programs simultaneously. Despite all these changes, the constant is the CYS commitment to excellence in serving youth and their families. I can assure you that it is as strong as ever. Geoffrey Crooks, President, CYS Board ‘Before CYS, I was wasting life in a hostile home filled with unsupportive people.’ — Brandon, 18 Young people and/or families can enter CYS’ system of care through one door and then have access to any of CYS’ 20 programs that meet their needs. Our success is due in large part to being data-driven and providing services that have been proven to work. We continue to partner with research institutions that help guide the services we provide. Those institutions include: The University of Washington’s Evidence Based Practice Institute The University of Washington’s Alliance for Child Welfare Excellence Portland State University’s Pathways to Positive Futures Research The University of Oklahoma In 2015, the University of Oklahoma featured CYS’ Therapeutic Foster Care Program in its Journal of Child and Youth Care Work. The article highlighted CYS’ unique trauma-informed model of care that is the foundation for an unprecedented placement stability rate (93 percent) and improvement in behavioral health issues including depression, anxiety, cognitive performance, traumatic stress, school functioning and behavior (80 to 100 percent). Portland State is partnering with CYS to enhance best- and evidence-based practices (proven outcomes) related to “transitional age youth” (ages 15 through 23 years). This target population is identified as experiencing unique challenges related to behavior, relationships and even neurology. Many of CYS’ programs are now designed to better support this population and these challenges. For example, if a youth enters Haven House, the only teen crisis residential shelter in the region, he gets 24/7 safety, care and guidance. If it isn’t safe for him to live at home again, he may get referred to CYS foster care. As he gets older, he can access services to help him continue his education or get a job. If he needs mental health counseling because of traumatic events in his upbringing, CYS case managers can make that happen through our Integrated Counseling Division. CYS is proud of our culture and our staff retention. In 2015 CYS’ staff retention rate was 94 percent. Staff experience and retention are critical to the implementation of evidence based practices and to our participants’ experiences continuity of care. Research demonstrates that participants who have the same case managers or therapists tend to stay in services longer and have better outcomes. Under the CYS roof, the continuum-of-care model does the work of five or six nonprofits under ONE administration. Having one singular administrative platform does two great things: saves costs and helps more people.
Page 3 Shelter-Housing Street Outreach, Young Adult Shelter, Rosie’s Place, Transitional Housing Out-of-Home Care Therapeutic Foster Care, Independent Living Skills (ILS), SETuP, Haven House Page 4 STREET OUTREACH Those living on the streets are often distrustful of agencies eager to help. The CYS Street Outreach team mitigates this problem by meeting youth out in the community and helping them find resources, including CYS. Nearly 2,500 contacts were made in 2015. YOUNG ADULT SHELTER Those who are 18 to 24 can sleep in a safe environment in this facility, which includes other CYS programs. More than 150 did so in 2015. The shelter has 15 beds and had 4,392 bed nights in 2015. ROSIE’S PLACE This daytime drop-in center has case management, meals, clothing, showers, hygiene supplies and referrals to other CYS programs. More than 1,200 accessed services in 2015. HOUSING Before being accepted into CYS Housing, ALL of the 76 youth served were either living on the streets, in a shelter or institution, or “couch-surfing” at homes of friends. They learn skills to be self-sufficient during their time in the program, which runs 18 to 24 months. Community Youth Services—Pierce County In September 2014, CYS was chosen by the City of Tacoma and Pierce County to be the lead agency for programs addressing youth/young adult homelessness. In December, a street outreach program was launched after CYS was awarded a federal grant to serve all of Pierce County. After 30 years of not having a youth shelter, the City of Tacoma opened a temporary overnight shelter for young people in downtown Tacoma in December, which CYS operates. It has 40 beds and averages more than 35 young people each night. The search for a permanent location is under way with hopes of opening in 2017. A Life in Progress: DAVID David Foster, 22, grew up in a house with an alcoholic father and a meth-addicted mother. When he was 8, his dad went to prison on a murder charge. When he became a teen, he turned away from school and toward drugs and alcohol, sometimes stealing to support his habits. He moved to Olympia two years ago with his girlfriend, who was pregnant. David soon found out about Rosie’s Place from other homeless youth on the streets. At first a place for food and clothes, it soon became a place where he decided to change his life and break the cycle he’d been raised in. Rosie’s staff helped him get into treatment. He’s been sober almost two years. His baby son, who had been a ward of the state, is now in his sole custody. He’s working and in CYS Transitional Housing. David wants to be a paramedic. “I’ve come SUCH a long way.” More than 6,250 youth — and their families — are served by CYS annually. *** Rosie’s Place serves more than 35 people each day. *** CYS manages 13 housing properties, with 49 slots. *** Almost 90% of those exiting CYS Housing, where they stay 18 to 24 months, leave to permanent housing. Early Intervention PARENTS AS TEACHERS In the evidence-based Parents as Teachers program (PAT), specially trained parent educators help new parents learn about child development and how to use their personal skills to benefit their families. It helps children be ready for school and get necessary developmental screenings. Since it began with small group visits seven years ago at CYS, the program now includes home visits and serves 93 families in Lewis and Thurston counties. CYS FOSTER CARE, ILS and SETuP While most parents provide children with a sense of safety, stability and security, there are thousands of children who don’t have the loving home life a child needs. The most vulnerable children and teens in our state – often abused, neglected, exploited and unwanted – are in need of foster families who can give them a nurturing upbringing. On any given day, there are about 6,000 youth needing foster-care placements in the state of Washington. Foster Care Services assist children, 8 to 18, who are referred by the Washington State Division of Children and Family Services. This specialized therapeutic program utilizes a multisystemic team approach to provide children and foster families with intensive home, community, and school-based services to ensure placement stability, improve school functioning, decrease behavioral problems, and improve mental health. Services are specifically aimed at supporting youth who have experienced trauma, and they include behavior management support, in-home parenting support, non-traditional parenting skills training, case aide support to families, respite care, 24 hour/7 day per week crisis support, therapy and medication management, and transportation. CYS also recruits and certifies foster parents for licensing. Our approach with foster care results in a 92 percent stability rate, keeping these youth in one home. 41 youth were served in 2015, staying in care an average of 10 months. The Independent Living Skills program serves those who are 15 to 21 AND either still in foster care or alumni of foster care. It teaches skills to succeed in school, work and adulthood, something many foster children never have a chance to learn. 142 youth were served in 2015. The SETuP program guides foster youth, who often drop out of or give up on education, toward GED/high school success and onward to post-secondary opportunities. 76 youth were served in 2015. HAVEN HOUSE Haven House, the only residential shelter of its kind in the area, is a refuge for those who are 12 to 17. It runs 24/7 and serves those who have run away, been abused or neglected, or are in severe family conflict. They are often brought by Child Protective Services, police or state social workers. While there, youth receive needed medical and dental care. They receive help either toward family reunification or, if that is not a safe option, toward a secure foster-care placement. Educational needs are also addressed, as are counseling options. Haven House is a short-term placement option, usually no more than 30 days. Last year youth from 13 counties were served. Of the 331 youth there in 2015, 67 percent returned to their family home, while the rest moved to other safe placements The Safe Shelter program that operates out of Haven House offers family mediation and reconciliation services. 26 Safe Shelter youth were served in 2015.