Programs and Protection for Children and Youth--Legislative Findings

Description: The General Assembly finds and declares: (1) That the future of this state depends on our supporting and nurturing the creation and development of strong, safe, stable, and successful families. Therefore, the General Assembly is committed to ensuring the provision of appropriate services to children, youth, and families. The intent of this article is to provide for the effective coordination and communication between providers of prevention and early intervention services for children and youth and juvenile justice and child welfare systems at all levels of state government; (2) That consolidating multiple child welfare and juvenile justice funding and policy agencies into a single agency with authority to address the needs of at-risk children from birth through adolescence will create a more unified, consistent approach to addressing the needs of our state's children and youth; and (3) Its intent to reduce the number of children committed by the courts to institutions operated by the Department of Juvenile Justice and the Department of Human Services or other state agencies and to provide a preventative, comprehensive plan for the development of community based alternatives so that children who have committed delinquent acts and children who are at risk of becoming dependents of state government and its institutions may not have to be committed to a state detention facility or other such facility. Additionally, it is the intent of this part to provide for noninstitutional disposition options in any case before the juvenile court where such disposition is deemed to be in the best interest of the child and of the community.

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