For more information, contact the Youth and Community Resources section at 410-887-5823.
The Counseling Team consists of a staff of skilled counselors who work with young people and their families with the goal of preventing crime and fostering positive, interpersonal relationships and life skills.
Interviews are conducted at Police Athletic League (PAL) Centers, precincts, schools, counseling offices, resource centers and other community agencies.
The counseling staff offers a variety of services to Baltimore County youth (up to 18 years of age) and their families, as long as they are willing and motivated to change.
- Resolve conflicts—Between parents and children in the community who have had contact with patrol officers
- Counseling—Individual, group, family and crisis counseling
- Provide assistance—To PAL Centers, athletic, skill-building and counseling groups, School Resource Officers, the Juvenile Offenders In Need of Supervision (JOINS) Program, Community Outreach Units and police patrol officers in their efforts to assist families and communities in solving problems
- Work with school officials in targeting and attempting to resolve status offenses such as truancy
- Training and Education—To community members, conduct classes and workshops in schools
We work with people by examining behavior and formulating an individual plan for change to improve communication skills, self-esteem and performance in school, at home and in the community
Issues to Be Addressed
The following issues can also be addressed with clients:
- Child abuse
- Crime and delinquency prevention
- Decision-making and problem-solving
- Pregnancy and AIDS prevention
- Substance abuse
All police reports for running away, and ungovernable and incorrigible behavior, are automatically followed up by contacting the family concerned and then offering counseling services.
Children in Need of Supervision (CINS) Program
The award-winning program provides services to families with youth who run away, act ungovernably or are truant from school. Counselors conduct a multi-session assessment of the youth and families’ needs, then provide appropriate support, mentoring, education and referrals in the community for counseling and other services indicated.
Counseling Team Director, John Worden
Threshold offenders are first-time, nonviolent offenders or juveniles deemed to be at the beginning of a pattern of delinquency. Every juvenile arrest is screened for JOINS eligibility as a threshold offender. The JOINS program officers divert threshold offenders from the juvenile justice system.
After being selected to participate in the program, all JOINS youth are assessed by case managers assigned by the Department of Juvenile Services (DJS), or professional counselors from the Department’s Counseling Team. By participating in volunteer projects related to their offenses, participants are allowed to make restitution for their actions while also helping grow self-esteem. Community restitution allows for a productive mentoring relationship with the JOINS clients. All victims receive restitution when it is appropriate to the case.
The goals and objectives of the JOINS program are as follows:
- Reducing the rate of recidivism for juvenile offenders and the minority over-representation in the juvenile justice system
- Successful intervention in the cases of juvenile threshold offenders
- Support of families and youth with counseling and appropriate referrals to community resources
- Promotion of making amends and building self-esteem through community restitution and accountability
- Restoration of victims through prompt payment of restitution and program participation on the part of the victim, if desired
Each precinct has a Youth Counselor, as well as an officer assigned to the JOINS program. Find your precinct.