The term “committed” describes the action taken by a juvenile court judge where a youth is placed into OYA’s legal custody. The juvenile court judge signs an “order of commitment” which tells OYA if the youth is to be placed in foster care, residential care, or a youth correctional facility (YCF). After a youth is “committed” and placed in OYA’s legal custody by the judge, OYA is allowed to make decisions about what type of treatment to provide a youth. This may include:
- Placing a youth in a specific foster home
- Placing a youth in a specific residential treatment program
- Placing a youth in a specific youth correctional facility (YCF)
- Releasing a youth from a YCF or Transition Program on parole
- Terminating the youth from OYA’s legal custody
- Revoking a youth’s parole and returning a youth to a YCF.
Another way OYA receives youth is through the Department of Corrections (DOC). The DOC may place a youth in the physical custody of OYA so the youth can be housed at an OYA facility.
If your youth was committed directly to a youth correctional facility by a juvenile court or placed in OYA custody through the Department of Corrections, he/she will be initially sent to Hillcrest Youth Correctional Facility for a full evaluation. While at Hillcrest, youth receive medical and mental health screening and assessment, psychological testing, and risk assessments. All these assessments help determine the right facility treatment program for the youth. The assessment period usually takes 30 to 45 days to complete. During this time, your youth will be living in an “intake unit” at Hillcrest.
If your youth was committed to a program in the community, an OYA Juvenile Parole/Probation Officer (JPPO) will be assigned to him/her within two business days. The JPPO will contact you and your youth regarding next steps in the commitment process.
A “parent packet” will be sent to you immediately upon assignment of a JPPO or your youth’s arrival to Hillcrest for intake. The “parent packet” contains an OYA guide to answer many of your questions regarding your youth’s stay with OYA. You also will be invited to attend an initial meeting to help create a case plan for your youth. This process is called “case planning” and involves many different people who work together as a team. OYA calls this team of people a “multidisciplinary team” or “MDT.” Parents/guardians and youth are core members of the MDT.