Publications

The following publications were developed by a committee comprised of leadership from our member Assessment Centers.  These publications are to be used as discussion points for Centers and communities on how Assessment Centers can serve in the best interest of their communities, partnership opportunities, and overall best practices. 

Jefferson County JAC | A Self Assessment Journey | Jefferson County, CO

Jefferson County Juvenile Assessment Center has been a success story in utilizing our self-assessment tool. The self-assessment tool offers Assessment Centers a structured opportunity to evaluate their current operations, determine how well they align with the established framework, and identify areas for improvement and enhancement. Over the past four years, supported by the Annie E. Casey Foundation, the NAC has successfully hosted four cohorts involving 17 different Assessment Centers nationwide, showcasing the tool's effectiveness in fostering growth and excellence within these centers. Click here to read JEFFCO JAC's journey using the self-assessment tool.

NAC Spotlight: Multi-Agency Resource Center (MARC) | Calcasieu Parish, LA

 Read about our brand-new publication featuring the Multi-Agency Resource Center (MARC), supervised by the Calcasieu Parish Police Jury. The MARC consolidates existing community support resources under one roof to ensure timely access to the best services for families. This collaboration includes the 14th Judicial District Court's Family and Juvenile Court Division, Calcasieu Parish Sheriff's Office, School Board, District Attorney's Office, Public Defenders' Office, key community stakeholders, and the families it serves. Upon referral, each youth’s needs are assessed through evidence-based screenings, assessments, and authentic conversations with the youth and family, identifying the most suitable community-based resources. By streamlining access, the MARC reduces wait times for community services from several weeks/months to mere hours. Click here to read our publication on the MARC.

Located in the Memphis, TN region, The Shelby County Youth & Family Resource Center (YFRC) collaborates with youth and their families to identify strengths, evaluate needs, and tackle areas of concern. Through tailored services and community connections, the center fosters support systems and facilitates access to resources. Working alongside community partners, it aims to optimize the utilization of available resources for the enhancement of youth, families, and the community at large. Click here to read our publication on The Shelby County Youth & Family Resource Center.

 NAC Spotlight: The Front Porch | Savannah, GA

The Front Porch, Where Youth and Families Gather, is established as a community-based Assessment Center and risk reduction program designed to identify children and families who are at risk of becoming involved with the court for delinquency, dependency, and children in need of services (“CHINS”), and to utilize available community resources for the purpose of developing and implementing intervention actions or plans to divert the children and their families from becoming involved in future cases in court. Click here to read our publication on The Front Porch.

The Connector Role: How Assessment Centers Address Capacity, Facilitate Access, and Eliminate Service Fatigue

Assessment Centers play a crucial role as connectors, bridging the gap between stakeholders and community resources. By offering tailored support, preventing service fatigue, and optimizing resource allocation, Assessment Centers contribute to the overall well-being of youth, families, and communities and are a critical component of a healthy community. Read the full article. 

NAC Spotlight: The Harbor Juvenile Assessment Center | Las, Vegas

The Harbor, an Assessment Center with locations throughout Clark County, Nevada including Las Vegas, diverts at-risk youth from entering the juvenile justice system by providing early intervention and an avenue to address concerning behavior. Assessment Centers across the nation aim to identify strengths and underlying needs of youth and families and partners with them to facilitate access to individualized services and resources In their communities. Click here to read our publication on The Harbor.

Nonprofit Assessment Centers 

An Assessment Center’s operational structure can vary from community to community. This document highlights three nonprofit Assessment Centers located in Louisiana, Colorado, and California and their implementation of diversion best practices. Read the full article.

The Rippling Effects of a Pandemic on Assessment Center and Their Communities

Two years ago, the fear of an unknown virus overtook communities.  This publication details the difficult and complex road for Assessment Centers and the rippling effects they are seeing two years later on young people and families and on the capacity of communities. Read the full article. 

Partnership Possibilities: Assessment Centers and Schools

Despite efforts of schools to implement interventions such Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) and Multi-Tiered Systems of Supports (MTSS), schools continue to struggle with youth behavior and chronic absenteeism. Assessment Centers have a unique opportunity to support their local school systems by serving as the bridge to local, community-based services and supports that can address underlying behaviors.  Read the full article. 

The Benefit of Neutrality

Several times throughout the newly released Assessment Center Framework, we reference the importance
for Centers to serve as a neutral, unbiased, collaborative hub within their communities. What does this
mean and why is it so important? The answer is simple: Trust.  Read the full article. 

Why Detention Is Not The Answer: An Alternative Through Assessment Centers

Delinquency among youth is a complex issue that can cause disruption within communities and in some
cases create victims of crime. Our approach and response to delinquent behavior is the single most important factor to whether or not it will happen again.  As more and more communities recognize the ineffectiveness and high price tag of detention, the Assessment Center model can serve as an effective approach in establishing a new way to support youth and families. Read the full article.