Please describe youth engagement in the LCT process and whether that involvement is beneficial to the outcome of cases:
Youth often participate in the LCT process but not 100% of the time. Much of that depends on the age of the child. For the Early Childhood CRICT team, the children in question are under age 5 and do often attend with their parent or caregiver. While the child is too young to meaningfully participate, it is often good for the team to meet the child to better understand their unique needs (as these children have developmental disabilities or delays or special healthcare needs). CRICT and BRICKIT are a mix - older youth are better able to participate and can often do so meaningfully, offering their perspective on the family needs and issues and participating in the discussion. That can be great for all involved as the team gets to hear the youth's perspective directly, they feel heard and like they have some agency in often troubling situations, and the family gets the benefit of working together on their issues. However, if the youth at the center of a CRICT team meeting has behavioral issues, substance use issues or other complicated problems, it is often better and easier to discuss these problems and potential solutions without their presence. Finally, children are rarely involved in VS Cares team meetings unless they themselves are the victims. Because of the nature of this team and that it is often a parent or caregiver who has been the victim of a very traumatic event (DV, sex trafficking, violent crime) including a child or children would only serve to traumatize them.
So the long and short of it is: it's complicated and it really varies from case to case whether they can or should participate, and how beneficial their participation is to the process and for themselves.