La Salle School offers program to Albany County youth and families

1/10/13 – Albany, NY— Last month, LaSalle School was pleased to announce that they would collaborate with two Albany County child caring agencies to offer a viable and cost effective alternative to detention programs to youth and families living in the county.

The announcement of the new Albany Juvenile Reporting and Family Center came after New York State’s Albany County Division of Children, Youth, and Families (DCYF) accepted a collaborative proposal from LaSalle, St. Anne Institute, and St. Catherine’s Center for Children and Families.

Using LaSalle’s successful Evening Reporting Center (ERC) as a model, the three decided to join in proposing an expanded program that would serve a wider age range of youth, both girls and boys, during afterschool and evening hours. LaSalle’s primary population is teenage boys, St. Anne Institute cares for adolescent females, and St. Catherine’s works with younger children, both boys and girls. With a site on each of the three campuses, it is expected that up to 40 youth from ages 9 to 17, and their families, will be served at any one time – an increase from 10 youth currently being served in LaSalle’s ERC.

Now in its seventh year, the LaSalle ERC has experienced a 90 percent attendance rate and steady improvement in the numbers of students remanded to detention. Furthermore, the responsive and dynamic relationships developed by LaSalle with Albany County Probation, Family Court, and DCYF have successfully maximized utilization.

LaSalle School Executive Director Bill Wolff recently commented on the program for the January 2013 issue of the New York Nonprofit Press. “The continued investment by Albany County in preventive programming, especially as governments face considerable challenges with regard to resources, is both admirable and important to our community,” Wolff said. “I find the decision by the county to fund this program, an expanded model of services operating during those critical after school hours, particularly exciting. LaSalle School, and our partners at St. Anne and St. Catherine’s, look forward to developing this program.”

LaSalle’s results and track record have proven that alternatives to detention programming costs one third less than secure detention and are half the cost of limited secure detention. The prevention contract to fund the new Albany Juvenile Reporting and Family Center has the possibility for two additional, one-year, renewals.

The three partners are eager to build on the success of LaSalle School’s ERC with the full operation of the program, in effect this month.