The Juvenile Services Division of the San Luis Obispo County Probation Department provides services across the juvenile justice continuum. This continuum includes school and community-based prevention and intervention programming, intake and court investigative activities, supervision services for youth residing in the community or in approved out of home placements, and care and control of youth detained in Juvenile Hall or committed to the Department’s Coastal Valley Academy camp program. The Division is comprised of three separate units that are identified as follows:
The Court and Prevention Services Unit provides prevention and intervention services through a county wide diversion program that diverts lower risk and first-time offenders from formal court proceedings and refers them to community-based resources. Diversion officers also take part in regional multi-disciplinary teams that work with youth and families at risk of involvement in the Juvenile Delinquency or Dependency Courts. The unit is also responsible for conducting investigations into the circumstances of youthful offenders admitted to the Juvenile Hall or referred to the Juvenile Delinquency Court. Officers conduct risk assessments, prepare social history reports and case plans, and make individualized recommendations to the Court regarding the supervision level and services needed in each case.
The Field Supervision Unit provides supervision and intensive case management to youthful offenders residing in the home of their parent or legal guardian. Officers are assigned to regional caseloads. One officer provides intervention services at the County Office of Education Community School. Youth and families are referred to services based on their individualized case plans and supervised according to their level of risk to the community. Officers utilize evidence informed cognitive behavioral interventions such as Forward Thinking Journaling as well as Child and Family Teams (CFTs) to support youth and families in making lasting positive change. Intensive services such as Wraparound are utilized in cases where a youth is at imminent risk of removal from the home.
The Placement and Coastal Valley Academy Unit works with youth who have been removed form their family homes and placed into foster care or who have been committed to the Department’s Coastal Valley Academy for residential treatment. Officers provide intensive case management as well as oversee the delivery of reunification and aftercare services in order to safely return youth to their homes or assist them in their transition to independent living.