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Oregon Youth Authority officials discuss education, family engagement

this is northwest focus a public affairs presentation okay in Mt
opinions expressed on this program do not necessarily reflect the views of
Cain empty or the Trinity Broadcasting Network Hello,and welcome to Northwest focus. I’m your host Aniah Rhodes and today our topic is you youth.
Today in the studio we have Frank Martin and he is the educational
administrator working with Oregon Youth Authority. Welcome. Aniah
thank you for inviting me here today. So can you tell us a little bit about
yourself and your profession in your background? Sure. I work have worked with the Youth Authority for around twenty-
three years now. and I been the education administrator
for four years. My background, I’ve taught at
Saint Louis University, Forest Park Community College, also in a Saint Louis but I’ve also have
Peace Corps experience as a Peace Corps teacher up in the himalayas and did a project
with Radio Nepal. so I have a background in education but
I’ve always found a a liking to working with youths on with the youth authority and snapshot that’s my background lower so I’ll what are some the challenges
that use youths are faced with today and I’m that
you noticing that you work with your profession well
what are they the challenges we have with the youth
especially when they’re in our care custody and control is helping them
discover what their potential is and especially when it comes to
education and helping them discover within themselves you know what can I do
when I grow up and a lot of our youth and not really
excelled in school lot of them come into the youth
authority with two years lacking in credits and we have to bring them up to speed
but also we have to give them confidence so they can go to college confident so they can do vocational
education and find employment so a lot of our work
and challenges is getting their self-esteem up in making
them aware that they can succeed and I personally feel we have to set
high expectations for them so that they can be successful when they
leave the youth authority so what exactly is vocational education that to me is that cool okay that’s a
good question vocational education within the youth authority we have
several programs and I’ll give you a few examples 10 them
for it for example is the barbering program we
have and the youth are able to work towards a license to be a barber and the youths are engaged at the
facility is giving haircuts being topped by a professional and
eventually getting their own hair cut tool kit so when they get to the
community they can start cutting hair we have welding program for example at
mclean facility for youth are able to attain a welding
certificate again that helps them get employment other areas we have culinary at our
facilities in some fine baked goods that are you do that are sold in the
community we often have I’m youth challenge us
with ideas we had a program for youth wanted to do
engine repair and so we have a facility that has small
engine repair that actually turned into larger engine
repair the I was there a few weeks ago news were
repairing a six cylinder Ford engine so I’m we offer ride whatever the interest
and wherever the market can employ them we have ok add Oregon Youth Authority has the care
custody control from the courts to work with youth we try to address
some of the youth issues in the juvenile parted the system nets with the county
but with severe crimes often they come our way and we have the mini close
custody facility many people may not know this but the
youth authority we work with young people from the ages
of 12 225 and the reason why it’s 25 is
because the summer youth welcome in a very
serious crime under 16 17 and we don’t want to just turn them out
to Department of Corrections at eighteen we want to make sure that
they can have a good base other and understanding of who they are and make
sure that the reach their treatment level because our brains are still maturing up
to the age 25 so we have that opportunity to work with them so what are some of the differences the
known as between the youth that are younger and that the older used in these programs 0 by I have to say its
maturity um when we have the older youth the
realize that you know who they are and their focus
changes so they’re willing to go and say I need
college I’m willing to learn and they’re more
focused they’ve they’ve settled down they’ve had some treatment under their
belt they began to get accredited credits that is in high school and then
later college and so the the oldies tend to be a
little bit more focused and then he began thinking about how am
I going to you know be able to make money from my
family we have a number view that have children we have a number you that have siblings
it that they also want to help take care of and so they begin to think that their
future and plan for it so what are some other popular a at
vocational I’m education programs for the well I would say well things popular and culinary foods are popular and then I think 10 the the up-and-coming stars
for our vo cared is our combining a vocation with higher education so we
have young people that would take a bar bring course but they also will take online college
about business or online college about a literature in
writing the they want to expand their horizons
and sometimes a college will enhance to revoke at experiences
but i think %uh barbering culinary woodworking welding I think they’re all
popular I sometimes the young people experiment
and try other location so they when they leave they
can have more opportunities okay so we just say that the youth our crime rate committed by you think
that growing I why do you think is in you know I i have to say in this is very
positive that for the youth authority the youth
that are in our facilities has been declining and that creates a me know a environment
which i think is positive for the state of Oregon it does at times
we have to like movin shift our education resources with the facilities to meet those
challenges but it’s a very positive environment to be a and more the youth can receive services that
are proven to the community and also receive residential care in the
community but arm as far as the facilities go and
in a youth that is in I’m a close custody
facility that’s declining we do have like a fifty-percent a number a view that our department
corrections youth and the rest are are younger youth okay so I did some
examples at noon creative vocational programs for you today why I can talk well one that we have in
in planning a we’re hopeful to put together a food
production program and that is a cooperative venture that
were hoping to succeed with and our partner is the Amery poke
FoodShare we’re hoping to have actually believe in
our a veggie burger production line and the youth would be
producing these veggie burgers getting college credit getting work experience but the part I
like about it the most is that the young
people are solving a problem in the community and that’s being able to address hunger
in Oregon so the veggie burgers at they produce
will actually go to the Food Share and will be shared throughout the state
or get then and that’s our innovative vision to have that and is probably one of the
most important components is having work experience at a facility and then transition with
education in not only that but bringing in some
%uh var partners in the community to meet our youth and they say hey I
wanna hire you you know you have the skills and the
youth feel pretty good about helping others especially you know feeding the hungry
this it’s a great you know future shot we here so these
education programs in the prevent at future rhea offenses then I’m sorry re fences by the youth
like does it um prevent them and is it a the all of them yet what we have a for that you see when you’ve come into the system
we we wanna know you know where your interest and if
you’re interested in a certain program we can
help prepare you for that with math and science at times you have a young person saying
I want to be a welder but they never paid attention to math or
science but what we do is we bring them back to
school and we have you know counseling with
them about hey you need to take this class or you need to learn these problems to
help you solve some other technical needs to be a
welder in and that happens often you told
discovering interest to later on in the Galway should’ve paid attention in class
you and we have the opportunity at all why a
to get him back in the class to help preparing for their vocation so
what is the future look like for a vocational
program and 3 I i think it’s a good one I’m we’re in partnership arm to create more and this is the part
I like the mouse is to expand the equity up higher
education and we have a partner in California that
is offered to us some online resources you in our youth can actually take
college courses um from online and also from offline
resources on the computer and study to get college credit by
testing outs call the club pics a.m. and that is the most exciting part so it
for youth is interested in a certain area they can take college courses a line to
it and be prepared to take a test when
you’re in a community in the 10 college credit so that’s
really opened a lot of doors before it was great um that we had some
courses in college now we’re able to expand it even a greater reach to all youth I’m can can get to
college and get credit that’s the greatest thing we’ve done in
a while wow so how do you say that these location
education programs compared other state well in I love organ up we are a leader and I’m not just saying that because I’m
here i’m saying it that or again has than 10 the early a innovators for online education expense Lee for college in the youth authority is very
progressive as far as other technical programs we open up the books
on to keep are you think gate at all times
okay so um do you believe that there education program staff recent division re saying division yeah recidivism is a
great I’m glad you brought that up a
recidivism is the key read above education at is is the key factor for reducing recidivism and the rand corporation came out a report in
August of this year that stated for every one dollar
invested in education means that you are saving five dollars
which means a person will not enter the system against so education is really the backbone to
reduce recidivism the school’s incorrect channel programs
for adults and also for juveniles is based on that and the research shows education is the
best way to address it and so its you know are young people’s
education that as a way to solve a lot of problems
so that’s a very good question about
recidivism thank you so what um whereby can you give to other
youth batting maybe not be faced with the sound is
well how could they may be up there P user siblings and may be going down that path
there that’s happening you I that’s good that’s a great question because when you
really look at it one really can change a person is there peers and a lot of times young people listen sometimes more to peer pressure
than your own parents and having your breasts your best friend
say you know he ever think about college you know or
why skipping all those classes from and having intervention from a pier
is is probably the most dynamic way for young person to change because if your peers are studying if
your peers have no vision of the future then you’re gonna be you know missing
out on opportunities later on in life and I think you know that’s that’s a key
factor you have to have involvement of your friends to support each other especially when
things get a little rough with the economy you know your peers are who you turn to
for support I thought how can the community get
involved in an education process well you know I a few things I think if
people volunteer to be tutors and if your business person if you open
your doors to consider our young people to help a you know with employment I
think that’s critical because it helps their self-esteem that
somebody cares enough to give me a job someone cares enough to teach me algebra
me that’s the heart and soul that we need to make good changes in Oregon with our young people thank you so much
for all this information and thank you for dis being then change if you are in need
you in this generation thank you for joining
us here today thank you going i mean for joining us
and we’ll see you next time I’m not myself lol welcome to Northwest focus I’m hosts
in the Rose in today are tapping his family today
Missy oh we have faith love and she is that away a family
engagement coordinating how you doing today faith I’m very good
glad to be here thank you for coming seeking tough
little bit about yourself and what you do sure I’m in a Virgo neni went to grade school from kindergarten on here in Portland and I’ve always been interested in working with youth even from the time that I was in high
school myself I was a peer counselor a eventually a graduated from Portland
stay became at counselor at an alternative
school in North Portland just as the game problem kinda was beginning in Oregon an important one
in particular from working that for several years I did some independent contracting as a
grant writer for its service programs then I went to Job Corps and work job
three different jobs & Job Corps Job Corps recruitment along the northern
strip both oregon along the Columbia Gorge and down the Oregon coast as well but I was applying for the youth
authority as soon as the youth authority came into being and I liked the idea of
working with youth when they return to the community so ever since then I’ve been working
with oyea started out as a transition specialist working with juvenile’s coming out of
the use correction facilities then as a parole and probation
supervisor I’ll supervising the staff that work
with youth who are coming back into the community and that was wonderful as well just a
lot of things done on a case by case individual basis then I went from that to managing
different projects for the youth authority and now I think I’m doing the most
exciting thing yet well so amazing is a keen to find Oregon
Youth Authority for us and for those who knows organ use this authority along with a
DHS the Department of Human Services are the two agencies that take custody love children I’m DHS does it when there
are matters love dependency and that could be
residence it could be a family needing additional support and the youth authority does that when
delinquencies in Baldwin young person has made a serious mistake or been involved with something that
they shouldn’t we work with that use to help them get back on track Phil
what’s happening now family today and family engagement so
what is um them far what is the that mean in the
juvenile system engage you well for us in Oregon Youth
Authority and an olive juvenile corrections family engagement really
means tapping into the best resource that we
have we are working with young people and
regardless love the programming that we do with
them family is always the most important connection that’s where we all get our identity
thats those are going to be the people that
are with the youth all about support system will be with
the youth even after we no longer are there and although we
supervise the youth in the community when they leave a
correctional facility it’s their family that they really seek the most from and so we are working now to make sure that we tap
into that best resource in to make sure that the families know exactly what we want to do with those used to
help them become more productive in to help the family to become more connected to their own
community yes so why is it so important for that promote family engagement who among anything okay its its been proven to be very important I mean aside from the fact that it’s
important anyway even and that we should acknowledge that but acknowledgement love family and how
important they are in engaging family into juvenile corrections is really I’ll nationwide movement right now we are
still one of the first states to really put this into our structure but however it has been shown to be impactful in a very positive way as far
as youth behavior as far as progress in education as far
as sustainability love the work that we put in and the
youth authority has a very sincere compassionate committed
staff and what we really want is four you have
to leave our system and become more productive and family
engagement is a great way for us to do that because
we’re working directly with the folks that have the most impact way so how arm how’s it practice
different here already in person other states one of the things that makes it
different in oregon is that each state has a different way love handling juvenile corrections here nor again the youth authority has
custody %uh views from 12 to 25 years old we also have physical custody of youth
that are um sentenced within the department of
corrections system before the age of 18 they can stay in
our physical custody and enjoy the benefits being in the is the forty which is treatment educational
opportunities um prefer mation it’s a tremendous
staying for young people to be in the custody of
the youth authority and I can’t stress that enough so we are a very innovative in comparison to other states we
certainly have a very progressive system here we’re
always looking at being data-driven we use the information that we have to strengthen our planning and case
management I love our youth we want to make sure
that we get the right youth into our system and that
if they use with thrive in a different setting we
encourage our partners in the community and our
other partners in juvenile justice to find a different way has the
breakdown of family and health the youth and education system %ah okay well eat most of our youth I
think their first who maybe their first problems or their
first issues with not being successful may
happen in education and many of the parents that I am
meeting now in our parent orientations will say that the first thing that they noticed is
poor Chief Minister school or lack of attendance in school and then you know they have to have a comfort
level to work with the school to do that and so a lot of family engagement
involves our own collaboration with our own partners including education and for us to provide support to
families to help them to feel more comfortable and just understand the programming that happens
with school-age youth as well and so we really end up being apart with every aspect %uh that young
person’s growing up the more involved with the come with
their family so what’s happening now in oh I are sorry oh I eighty in with among youth in where steps would mean taking two engage
in my better family engagement well incorporating family engagement
system-wide into our structure really for us does not mean making revolutionary
changes our staff are doing everything now that will be formally incorporated
system-wide because we’d like I said we have a
wonderful committed staff that really wants to make a positive change in youths lives
and really impact public safety in a
positive way so we’re doing all these things already
and one of those things is we certainly do
everything we can to support and encourage families visiting youth and having as much contact this possible
we utilize technology that we have a as far as video contact if families of
our way because we’re statewide system and we place you according to their
needs is so they may be placed in a location
that’s far away from their family they may go to a transition program one
of our transition programs where they have greater opportunities and vocation and
community contact and education but it’s may be further
away from their family and we know how important it is for them
to stay in touch with their family we can provide assistance for families
to get to those locations to visit we do everything we possibly can we also
have a through al are costly the youth what
we call MDT is and those in meetings over
multi-disciplinary teams the family members are 8-core essential
member those multi-disciplinary teams we talk
about transitions from the minute a youth comes into our custody we start
planning for what will be the best thing for them
what will be their needs in the community and we work to provide that continuity
to support what we’ve done and to keep the changes that we help the use to make sustainable no the hadith oh why a support those maybe
they don’t have family fun that’s a wonderful question whatever the
things that we will be bringing in is family find and family find is is system there are several different
resources for family find here in the state of Oregon in the state
of Washington its origins are in Northern California but there are many organizations here
family find works to find relatives and the model itself this states that it could find for any one individual 30 additional relatives
that they didn’t know than that on average well so we’re very
encouraged by doing this um we really know that there are not
that many youth who don’t have families but we do know that there are some youth
they don’t have family there are our youth whose families are unable to
care for them and unable to support them that
different family members are resources in different ways some family members
make only be resource is for information but certainly we will contact those
family members as well but our youth tend to be dis somewhat
disconnected anyway mom because I’ve lifestyle because the
circumstances in their lives but we’d will honestly do whatever we
can to connect youth to family everyone has someone somewhere you and
the definition of family that we use is a broad 1 and we already
have that in our policy and it’s really a support system who
does the youth consider family who’s been a positive support for that
youth is so that enables us to always have a
way to provide that supportive resource even though just a a healthy family looks
like OT I think that a healthy family what’s the best thing for the use in
their family and generally you know that can be an
individual definition from family to family but generally it’s ok it’s that you want
a better life for the young people in your family you
want more for the young person in your family then you gained in your own experience
whether it’s better education more education it could
be a better financial situation it could be more socially connected it could be
stronger relationships but when you talk to folks that’s what
they want for the young people and their family
and I think that such a wonderful healthy thing is may have that to hope for the
positive future for young people so that that’s my own definition
unhealthy has stay so how important is this sense
of belonging to I’m for family among you hall pass this
one its it’s crucial I’m we know that as
adolescence we’re all seeking our identity and looking for a place in society and
the greater world and family is the first place where you
really start to begin to identify and you look for that
identification and from your family you reach out to community and the larger society to
family is is just absolutely essential and I identity for youth except it’s for
youth a lot of times use get into trouble
because they’re seeking those things from others and they may seek those
things and be accepted by folks that don’t necessarily mean them
well and but seeking that acceptance and
identity is eat I listen search driven by that think he’s thinking so much faith this
event so helpful thank you for joining you thank you viewing audience between me
and we’ll see you next time I’m like myself you been watching Northwest focus a
public affairs presentation of KMT opinions expressed on this program do
not necessarily reflect the views obtain empty for the Trinity Broadcasting Network I’m 1 this

David Frank