Douglas County is seeking a state grant to fund a program that helps troubled youngsters avoid being removed from their homes by the juvenile justice system.
"It changes the family system and not just the juvenile," Janice Storey, director of children and family services at Bert Nash Community Mental Health Center, said of the program.
Douglas County Youth Services will apply for a $100,000 grant from the Kansas Juvenile Justice Authority. JJA has a total of $750,000 for the Juvenile Justice Parental Modeling Grant program. Youth Services would then allow Bert Nash to use the money for a family therapy program for juvenile offenders.
The juveniles would be those identified as having one or more contacts with the juvenile justice system and at risk of being removed from home. Up to 20 young people could be in the program, Storey said.
The grant would pay for training Bert Nash staff to work in the program, which would be conducted by Family Therapy Training Institute of Miami. Part of the treatment for the youngsters is working with their families to improve interaction, Storey said.
The treatments would be paid for through Medicaid or private insurance, Storey said.
Douglas County commissioners Monday gave approval for Youth Services to apply for the grant. But Commissioners Bob Johnson, Jere McElhaney and Charles Jones said they hoped the county would not be asked to sustain the program once the grant money was gone.
"I'm so wary of grants," Jones said.
Storey said the program could be continued without the grant and noted that the youngsters it would treat are already receiving other treatments.
In other business Monday commissioners:
¢ Approved a resolution supporting development of a recreational path from Topeka to Lawrence as part of the Landon Trail. The resolution was requested by the Lawrence-Douglas County Bicycle Advisory Committee.
¢ Approved the sale of $255,000 in general obligation bonds to UMB bank at 3.95 percent. The bonds are for road improvements in the Hesper district.
¢ Agreed to solicit bids for asphalt shouldering on Douglas County Route 438 from the Kansas Highway 10 intersection to Kasold Drive (East 1200 Road).