- Operating services during the pandemic and subsequent state of emergency presented many challenges and opportunities. While the Systems Navigation Program met some goals, it fell short on others, program staff persevered through an incredibly challenging year and they are extremely proud of the services provided to the community this past year.
- The decrease in referrals contributed to downward trends for the numbers served compared to last year. Some of the referrals received from school personnel were inappropriate, since the focus of the referrals were on poor student attendance and or no attendance.
- Many families were reluctant to engage in services provided through virtual platforms, this reluctance also contributed to the lower number served. Families experienced the pandemic for five months during FY20, compared to the full year for FY21.
Although the numbers for two target populations served (Disconnected Youth and Families Impacted by Incarceration) have declined; more families and youth gained access to services through the new target population of LCT families and families not meeting other definitions compared to the past two years. Engaging families in services before children become disconnected is proactive and beneficial to the family, the youth and to society.
Lower overall enrollments for FY19 resulted from:
- A portion of the initial connections between navigator and potential participant conducted over the phone resulted in a referral that did not necessitate a face-to-face meeting
- Some of the families experiencing a crisis who were referred for navigation saw a resolution of said crisis before following through with their navigation appointment, which resulted in no enrollment.
Fewer disconnected youth were enrolled in FY19, in part to the situations above, and in addition:
- There are many challenges with getting youth in particular to follow-through with initial in-person meetings after referral
- A number of the youth who sought services did not meet the definition and age criteria; said youth were not attending school but were too young to legally drop out of school.
With regard to disconnected youth completing a plan, the number appears down compared to FY18 because enrollments were down, but every youth served in FY19 (100%) did complete a plan.
First year of GOC funded program focusing exclusively on disconnected youth and families impacted by incarceration. Has required an adjustment in how connections and services provided based on needs and attributes of these populations.
- Identifying youth is easier than keeping them engaged in services.
- Began tracking number of connection attempts and number of successful connections
- Families impacted by incarceration better at reaching out and reconnecting with navigators than youth
- Most successful interactions occur with participants who are linked and connected to outside services providers for long term service