The Hamilton County Juvenile Court Assessment Center opened in 2020. It is designed to keep children from becoming entrenched in the juvenile justice system. Assessment Center staff meet with kids and their families at the point of crisis. Together, they identify what is going on and what changes need to be made to keep the young person out of the system.
How the Assessment Center Works
Families work with the Assessment Center in several situations:
- They have a child who is facing an official charge and the youth is exhibiting behaviors in the home that can be addressed while going through the court process.
- They have a child who is facing a low-level charge that has been referred to diversion and need help connecting to community based services.
- They have a child who is facing a low-level charge such as truancy, curfew violation unruly behavior, or runaway. The family will meet with Assessment Center staff before the charge is processed.
- They are struggling with a child and trying to prevent an official charge.
When a family is referred to the Assessment Center they can expect the following:
- Connection with a “Service Navigator”
- Screening and assessment of the youth
- Collaborating on the creation of a service plan
- Help with community service connections such as mentoring, mental and behavioral health groups, individual counseling, community art and recreational activities, help with school, and parental supports.
- Help navigating barriers that prevent youth from engaging in services
- The “Service Navigator” will provide the Court with information on behalf of the child, outlining strengths, concerns, and recommendations as well as participation in recommended service programs.
As of July 2023, all parent-signed complaints, which include filings for runaway and incorrigible children, must be filed at the Assessment Center. The Court’s Youth Detention Center at 2020 Auburn Ave. will no longer take parent-signed complaints. If a parent comes to the Youth Center, they will be referred to the Assessment Center.
The Center is located in a family friendly space, inside a former home in Mount Auburn, at 264 William Howard Taft Road, Cincinnati, Ohio, 45219. The Assessment Center can be reached at 513-946-7653.
• 613 youth served in 2022
• 85% did not receive a new charge one year out of the program