Youth & Family Programs

The Juvenile and Family Court provides a variety of programs and interventions that are evidence based and designed to address certain criminogenic needs of the youth we serve. These programs include: Coordination of Services, Functional Family Therapy, i-ACT and Mindset

Coordination of Services

Due to COVID-19 the CONNECT program will be held through ZOOM. If you are required to attend this program, the program facilitators will be in touch about scheduling and expectations. 


 Coordination of Services/The Connect Program is an immersive weekend class for a youth and their connected adult, typically a parent. The youth and parent attend this 12 hour weekend class together, where they are offered community resources, attend workshops from local professionals in their fields, and get fed lunch and snacks. This is a fast paced class, with each presentation lasting about an hour long each. Topics in past programs have included Drugs and Alcohol, Brain development, Cooking, Challenge course activities, Social media, Theater, etc. The 2 major goals of the program are to:
  1. Strengthen a youth's connection to their community
  2. Strengthen a youth's connection to their family
This is a research-based program, with an evidence base of research showing that attending it will statistically help a youth stay out of legal trouble in the future.

or decisions that have negative outcomes. This component them to take perspectives and challenge their thinking. It counters impulsivity and provides the youth to slow down and critically think about the presenting situation. Problem stories are used to uncover Thinking Traps. These are four cognitive distortions commonly used when antisocial decisions are being made. The 4 Thinking Errors are Minimizing/Mislabeling, Blaming Others, Self-Centered Thinking, and Assuming the Worst.

Functional Family Therapy 

Functional Family Therapy (FFT) is a short-term intervention program with an average of 8 to 12 sessions over 3 to 5 months. FFT works primarily with youth who have been referred for behavioral or emotional problems by the juvenile justice system and their families. Services are often conducted in the home setting but can also be provided in other locations.

FFT is a strength-based model built on a foundation of acceptance and respect. At its core is a focus on assessment and intervention to address risk and protective factors within and outside of the family that impact the adolescent and his or her adaptive development.

FFT Consists of five major components: Behavior Change, Engagement, Generalization Phase, Motivation and Relational Assessment. 

​Behavior Change

​The goal of this phase is to reduce or eliminate referral problems by improving family functioning and individual skill development. Behavior Change often includes formal behavior change strategies that specifically address relevant family processes, individual skills or clinical domains (such as depression, truancy, substance use). Techniques and strategies often include evidence-based cognitive-behavioral strategies for addressing family functioning and referral problems. Phase activities are focused on modeling and prompting positive behavior, providing directives and information, developing creative programs to change behavior, all while remaining sensitive to family member abilities and interpersonal needs.


​The goals of this phase involve enhancing family members' experience of therapist responsiveness and credibility. Therapists work hard to demonstrate a sincere desire to listen, help, respect and match to family members in a way that is sensitive and respectful of individual, family and cultural beliefs, perspectives and values. The therapist's focus is on immediate responsiveness to family needs and maintaining a strength-based relational focus.

Generalization Phase

The primary goals in this phase are to extend the improvements made during Behavior Change into multiple areas and to plan for future challenges. This often involves extending positive family functioning into new situations or systems, planning for relapse prevention, and incorporating community systems into the treatment process (such as teachers, Probation Officers).


The goals of this phase include creating a positive motivational context that serves to decrease family hostility, conflict and blame, increase hope, and build balanced alliances with family members. Therapists work to change the meaning of family relationships by emphasizing possible hopeful alternatives, maintaining a nonjudgmental approach and conveying acceptance and sensitivity to diversity. The therapist's focus is on the relationship process, separating blame from responsibility while remaining strength-based.

Relational Assessment

The goal of this phase is to identify the patterns of interaction within the family to understand the relational functions or interpersonal payoffs for individual family members' behaviors. The therapist focuses on eliciting and analyzing information pertaining to relational processes, and assess each dyad in the family using perception and understanding of relational processes. The focus is directed to intrafamily and extra family context and capacities (e.g., values, attributions, functions, interaction patterns, sources of resistance, resources and limitations). This information is used to inform a Behavior Change and Generalization Plan that matches to each unique family.


The Individual-Alternative Choice Training, or i-ACT, is designed to be used with a single teen in an office or other setting.  It is designed to address risk using current researched based best practices of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, which is practical in nature and follows a learning model of teach, show, and practice.  

Phase 1 of the i-ACT consists of one introductory lesson, followed by 16 lessons (six lessons in Social Skills Training, six Lessons in Self-Control Training, four lessons in Problem Analysis) and one transition lesson to Phase 2.   Lessons are numbered and designed to have a structure, yet be flexible enough to match the specific youth needs.   Phase 2 is once a week with six lessons and is considered generalization to new habits.    

Jefferson County is a leader in the development and quality assurance of i-ACT for the State of Washington.   We are proud that we have to State Trainers/Consultants and are a model for small counties in implementation.  

The program uses the Cognitive Behavior Triangle as a foundation for all three components.   This triangle of outcomes states:    when in a difficult situations, our thoughts, feelings, and behaviors determine the outcomes, positive or negative, for that given situation.   i-ACT emphasizes the awareness of this dynamic pattern and that each teen has the ultimate choice in their outcomes when in difficult/risky situations.   Below is a snap shot of each component:

​Phase 1

Social Skills Training:  Skill streaming is a procedure designed to enhance pro-social skills.  It is effective for youth struggling to find alternatives or options to communicate what they want/need in an effective manner.   In i-ACT the teen will learn 6 social skills that are determined by the youth and family.   These skills are taught, shown and then practiced by the youth in their day to day life. Examples of typical social skills are: Dealing with Fear, Dealing with an Accusation, Avoiding Trouble with Others, Keeping out of fights, and Understanding the Feelings of Others. 

Self-Control Training: This is the second component of i-ACT. Self-Control addresses the feeling component of the Cognitive Behavioral Triangle. It also enhances the teens consequential thinking. This component is designed to have the teen understand the benefits of having more self-control and the impact that has on their outcomes. Coping skills are provided along with a sequential set of tools. 

Self-Control consists of the following concepts linked together to make the Self-Control Chain:

External and Internal Triggers

Body Signs: The first intensity signals from our body

Reducers: Coping skills for all emotions

Reminders: Positive self-Talk

Thinking Ahead: Consequential Thinking Formula

Social Skill: Using the social skills as a “way out” from the hassle

Self-Evaluation: Self Coaching and Rewarding

Problem Analysis: The third component of the i-ACT curriculum. This component specifically targets the “thoughts” corner of the Cognitive Behavioral Triangle. The component uses hypothetical typical teen risky situations to increase problem solving with better outcomes in mind. The problem situations are designed to address negative permission statements and how to counter those with character traits, with the goal of more options to difficult situations.

​Phase 2 

i-ACT has built in a Phase 2 component of the curriculum.  This allows the youth to start the process of practicing using all the tools from Phase 1 to solve their own difficult situations with the intention of increased self-control, leading to better outcomes.  

Phase 1 and Phase 2 of i-ACT encourage and engages family and all community partners the teen is involved with.  


Mindset is a local court program made up of cognitive behavioral lessons. The program design is for youth that are low risk Diversion, Youth At Risk, Referrals of Concerns, or for youth recommended from the Community Engagement Boards. Jefferson County intake staff will recommend a youth participate in these cognitive behavioral lessons if the youth and connected adult feel like it is a match.  

This intervention is great for youth that struggle with emotional regulation, need more options in difficult situations, and when peer refusal skills need bolstering. The program is designed by the youth and connected adult, matched specifically for what the youth identifies as a need. Mindset is generally 6-10 lessons and usually occurs once a week in a location that fits all parties.