Officers in the Youth Placement Supervision Unit are responsible for performing a wide variety of duties. As officers of the Court, we are responsible for supervising youth in out-of-home placements, adherence to State and Federal regulations concerning the welfare of those youth remains the primary focus. Division 31 regulations and Title IV-E, along with Welfare and Institution Code, provide the mandates regulating out of home placements. Additionally, Continuum of Care Reform and Family First Prevention Services Act (FFPSA) have changed terminology and scope of responsibilities of all out-of-home placements. Former terminology such as group homes and foster homes, are now referred to as Short-Term Residnetial Therapeutic Programs (STRTPs) and Resource Family homes.
Placement Officers are diligent in finding the best possible STRTPs that utilize evidence-based treatment to assist the youth with their criminogenic needs and overall rehabilitation. Placement Officers also supervise Non-Minor Dependents from the age of 18 until they reach the age of 21. If a youth attends school and/or works a minimum of 80 hours per month, they are eligible for foster care funding and housing through Assembly Bill 12 (AB 12). By collaborating with local agencies such as Kern Behavioral Health and Recovery Services (KBHRS), Department of Human Services (DHS), and Kern County Superintendent of Schools (KCSOS), the overall goal of rehabilitation, reunification, and or transition into adulthood for the youth on their caseloads is facilitated. Currently, a designated Placement officer is assigned to work closely with KBHRS and the Multi-Integrated Services Team (MIST). These teams collectively have developed and implemented evidence-based programs and services for wards of the Court and other troubled youth. Additionally, a DPO III, three DPO II’s and a social worker (via contract with DHS) are assigned to the local Dream Center. They work in collaboration with KBHRS, Public Health, Employers Training Resource, DHS and KCSOS to help recruit Resource Families and easily be accessible to youth who visit the Dream Center daily. With the addition of these Probation Officers, the Dream Center has become a “one stop shop” for foster care youth.