YCPRT Advisory Council meets in person

The Youth Centered Permanency Roundtables (YCPRT) Advisory Council met in person on February 10 for the first time in three years. The council honored Geoffrey Garver, Warren County Children Services, for his years of dedication to YCPRTs as he approaches retirement and welcomed new members from Lorain and Wood Counties.

Kinnect staff kicked off the day with program updates. Kinnect is seeking to formalize membership on the council by identifying champions who could hold a more formal role, adding people with lived experience, and adding additional subject matter experts. The new congregate care reduction effort Kinnect is beginning will use the YCPRT structure.    YCPRT teams were asked to encourage youth to complete a brief survey at the end of their YCPRT meeting, and to participate in a more detailed virtual interview for which they can receive a $50 gift card. Interviews will conclude in March.

Next, attendees shared strengths, which included cohesive teams, creative approaches to addressing challenges, and youth engagement. Youth have especially responded to incentives for participating, selecting snacks for the meeting, and being the center of attention. Teams shared challenges, which included agency staff buy-in, staff turnover, transportation, and identifying external partners to participate in meetings. They also explored strategies for recruiting external partners and arranging transportation. Some agencies rely on virtual meetings and others have prioritized in-person meetings.

Then, participants brainstormed creative approaches for supporting youth in seeking permanency. Ideas included exploring what youth want, letting them drive the process rather than citing a particular outcome as the goal, and expecting changes along the way.

Council members ended the day by revisiting the permanency rating evaluation that teams complete at the end of the process and providing suggestions for improving it. The council meets next in July.