The impetus for the summit originated in Seneca’s desire to have a conversation with key leaders in the field who can have an impact on what appears to be an emerging crisis: service providers are increasingly feeling unable to serve the kids who are struggling the most and who have the most challenging behaviors. As providers are starting to say no to referrals for the highest needs youth, there is a need to come together to build consensus around the reasons for the disincentives to serve this population, and the possible solutions to improve our system of care for high needs youth.
The objective of the summit was to discuss comprehensive service system gaps for the state’s highest needs youth, and to build cross-sector consensus on the need for collaboration and actionable next steps. By bringing together key state, county, and policy leaders, this day-long event built upon a shared sense that we can do better for youth and families and move toward building a more integrated, coordinated continuum of care to keep kids from going out of state or ending up in juvenile hall.
Emily Higgs, Policy Analyst, Development, Evaluation and Strategic Initiatives (DESI)