The ACCESS Initiative services youth aged 10-18 and their families in Champaign County. Specifically ACCESS services youth with serious and/or significant social, emotional, and/or behavioral challenges who have been adversely or disproportionally serviced by the juvenile justice, child welfare, mental health, educational, or health care systems. African-Americans represent 16 percent of the county population; however, African- American youth make up approximately 45 percent of the child welfare, 60 percent of foster care recipients, 75 percent of commitments to the Illinois Department of Juvenile Justice, 80 percent of admissions to the Juvenile Detention Center, 50 percent of youth placed on station adjustment by law enforcement, 66 percent of youth on probation, and 80 percent of youth with multiple school suspensions.
The goals of the ACCESS Initiative are:
- To build a sustainable infrastructure that reflects SOC, trauma, and justice informed values and principles
- To expand family and youth leadership, engagement, voice and choice throughout the system of care
- Expand the availability and the use of high fidelity wraparound services and supports.
- Expand organizational capacity (Policies, Protocols, and Practice) to:
- Address Racial and Socio-economic disparities
- Reduce the number of youth who have had adverse and sustain contact with juvenile justice, child welfare, and alternative school systems.
- Implement positive youth development throughout
- Provide and implement evidence and trauma informed
- Promote and create additional opportunities for authentic interagency, intergroup and cross-system collaboration
- Increase the availability of informal and natural supports / increase the community's capacity to care for youth and families with social, emotional, and behavioral challenges.
- To place the focus of control and decision making in the communities served by youth and families of the target population.
- To increase the availability of healing and restorative options.
- To support ongoing Evaluation and Continuous Quality Improvement
The ACCESS Initiative aims to create a trauma and justice informed System of Care (SOC) in which youth and families have access to a full range of formal and informal programs, services, and supports across a continuum of needs. We especially prioritize cultural, gender, and trauma responsive practices. Funding is granted over a six-year period to encourage the full implementation of a System of Care that is family-driven, youth-guided, culturally- and linguistically-competent, community based, collaborative, strength based, trauma informed, and sustainable beyond the funding period