Arlington Community Services Board (CSB) – Children and Youth Committee

July 6, 2015

Committee Present:Shauna Alonge (Co-Chair), Asha Patton-Smith (Co-chair), Marguerite Tomasek, Erica Jackson,Janine Finnell, Linda Staheli, Earl Conklin, Naomi Verdugo, and Teen Network Board (TNB) or Prime intern Youth (Mary Gay, Katherine and Ryan).

Child and Family Services Division (CFSD) Staff: Heather D. Stowe (Division Chief), Sharon Lawrence (Behavioral Health Bureau Chief), Kimberly Durand (APCYF Coordinator), Bonita Parker (Special Projects Manager, minutes).

  1. Call to order: The meeting was called to order at 6:35p.m.
  1. Minutes: The Juneminutes were accepted.
  1. Teen Network Board (TNB): The Committee provided the young people, an intern and two members of the TNB, with several questions prior to the meeting. They responded to some of those questions as well as others. The youth reported that unless involved in TNB or similar activities youth look for help from friends and maybe trusted teacher or counselor. The youth noted that they were not aware of taboo related to discussing stress etc. among teens. However, other youth are more secretive about discussing cutting. Youth who cut may only discuss it with very trusted friends. They noted that the issue or problem may arise based on what those trusted friends do with the information.

Stress. Youth thought that stress is more related to academics and family issues rather than sexuality. The young people noted that everyone experiments sexually in middle school. There is less stigma regarding sexuality. When asked about “mindfulness”, it was described to the youth. However Ryan had been exposed to yoga through the SOAR program. Bullying was also reported to be less related to sexuality.

Knowledge. When asked about reaction to suicides in Fairfax last year, the youth reported not hearing about those events. Their comments suggested that young people were more likely to hear of suicides at school when there is some direct connection to their school. One youth did report knowledge of the suicide of a former student at her school.

Other teens may not have a lot of information about the TNB, but it is advertised so to speak through The youth were not very familiar with school psychologists in their schools or what those psychologists do. Some youth are aware that schools have substance abuse counselors.

Substance Abuse. The most used substances among Arlington youth include alcohol and marijuana, which are easy to get, rather than heroin and prescription drugs. Arlington Youth receive most information through their health class. Health classes use lifetime [or after school special] style movies about substance abuse and goggle activity that aren’t taken seriously. They would suggest that the movies that had more impact were movies with more interview. They would suggest having more young people come to speak to students. There are too many efforts to scare students straight. When students use substances they may not see it as a problem because “everyone else does it”.

What do Parents need to know? Youth suggested that parents start with a relationship. Some youth aren’t as close [to their parents]. They may be fearful and feel misunderstood. Consider teaching parents to be less awkward. Teach parents what disorders are and the impact those disorders may have on people. For example, one youth described a friend who has anxiety, but the friend’s father doesn’t believe it’s real. It was also questioned as to whether or not young people have social outlets and relationships with adults.

Programs. The youth discussed several programs available through APS including Interlude, SOAR and Freshman Connect Mentoring (a way to distribute information to freshman. A program called Ending the Silence (NAMI) was also mentioned during the meeting. Such programs should be more integrated into school programs. Teens should be more aware of such programs.

Suggestions/Outreach. When asked about outreach to loners, the youth thought tables set up with information or a “Lucy” booth during lunch would work better than efforts like grief clubs. It was also suggested that having guest speakers on these issues during lunch but away from the cafeteria that may be an option to share information with students. At least one high school, Yorktown, has periodic speakers on varying topics like this at lunch. A potential speaker and topic could be Bree Mathers speaking on Body Image for Teen Girls.

  1. Monthly Statistics:The committee would like to add Children’s Regional Crisis Response (CR2) and FAPT home-based services and treatment day program data to the monthly statistics. However, it was noted that CR2 statistics are not available on a monthly basis, but quarterly or semiannually. There are 200 to 250 unduplicated young people receiving services. In addition, there was a question regarding the ages of those receiving emergency services. Again, it was noted that lots of emergency services calls come from schools and the youth are oftenpreviously unknown to BHB/CFSD. There is no overlap of emergency services cases and CR2cases.
  1. MSC-TTA: A recap and update regarding the grant was provided by Dr. Stowe and Earl Conklin. It was noted that the Courts including two judges, DHS, as well as APS including Wendy Carria are working together on the grant.The State of Virginia has not yet decided to participate in these efforts. This grant addresses work with the juvenile justice population including CHINS etc. It was also noted that there is an effort to employ sequential mapping as a part of the associated homework and there is some consideration being given to instituting a centralized intake form. The end goal is to change business processes of the agencies involved. The end product of this first part of the grant will ultimately be a work plan. A draft work plan may be available in December, 2015.

Arlington County is considering applying for the second part of the grant as well. It would include week long intensive sessions at Georgetown University. It is hoped that the State can be engaged more with this step.

  1. Mental Health Task Force: There was some discussion of mental health taskforce as well as visitingthe Juvenile Detention Center in September, maybe on September 21, 2015. In addition, there was discussion of adding a representative of Arlington Public Schools interests to the committee. There was some suggestion that there be additional committee members including Meg Tuccillo, retired Assistant Superintendent for Administrative Services, or a retired principle who recently retired. It was noted that there is a need to have a representative at the assistant superintendent level.
  1. CSA/FAPT Process: The FAPT Process was thoroughly discussed at the last meeting.
  1. DHS Community Participation: Sample flyers for the APS First Day Packet and the “Got Stress, Call DHS”stress ballsto be distributed at the County Fair were shared with the Committee. Dr. Stowe noted that last year that there was no uptick in calls to CFSD as a result of distribution of these flyers. Nineteen thousand flyers are needed and the deadline is July 17th.
  1. August/September Meetings: There will be no meeting in August. The Committee will conduct program review via email, using passive consent. If a member fails to respond consent will be assumed. Earl Conklin will look into the Committee visiting the Juvenile Detention Center in September, maybe on September 21, 2015. TNB will participate in the July Committee meeting.
  1. Other Questions and Comments
  • Kim Durand shared with the Committee some information about the upcoming Whole Child Conference. It will address priority issues from the most recent APCYF Community Report Card (e.g., bullying). It will kick off a series of workshops for youth and their Parents. Ms. Durand may be reached at 703-228-1667 or .

Meeting adjourned at8:32 p.m.

Next meeting:Monday, July6th, 6:30 p.m., TBD possibly atthe Juvenile Detention Center in September, maybe on September 21, 2015.