The Teen Collaborative, in conjunction with the Teen Court Program, has demonstrated a significant ability to affect change in the lives of vulnerable foster teens and continues to grow and gain community partners in its efforts toward engaging high-risk foster youth with the goal of ultimately becoming a self- sustaining community sponsored resource pool for the youth. Future events will focus on providing diverse opportunities for the Teen Court foster youth, including participation in martial arts, surfing, and culinary arts as well as educational and motivational speaking venues on topics relevant to many of the difficult issues they face.
In 2009, the Teen Court Program was formed to respond to the unique needs of Orange County’s highest risk foster teen population. The program serves 90 foster youth who struggle with issues such as substance abuse, gang involvement, runaway behavior, involvement in human trafficking and formal probation. The Teen Court Program operates in a multidisciplinary team format that includes the Orange County Social Services Agency, Juvenile Court, the Health Care Agency, Probation, Public Defender, Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA), Department of Education and a number of ancillary service providers. Representatives from each partner agency convene weekly to review the youth’s cases, ensure that needed services are in place and address problems before they reach a critical stage.