The Transition Center (TC), under the leadership of the Alameda County Probation Department, is a collaboration of partners, who stand in alignment with the Vision 2023 mission to support and restore communities. The Transition Center empowers youth, families, and their caregivers by removing barriers to success and connecting them to supportive resources and healthy alternatives in the community.
The Transition Center, with the Probation Department as the lead agency, works in partnership with Alameda County Office of Education, the Center for Healthy Schools and Communities, Oakland Unified School District, Oakland Unite, Alameda County Behavioral Health, and Alameda County Public Health.
Engaging in the Juvenile Justice system is emotionally difficult for our youth and families. The process lends itself to feelings of being helpless and hopeless. In the summer of 2017, the Transition Center redesigned its physical space and daily operating procedures, emphasizing family focused and trauma-informed processes. Probation wanted to create a space where youth and families can decompress from the pressure of Court and waiting for their youth’s release from custody. The Transition Center is equipped with two confidential conference rooms furnished with computers, telephones, and current community resources and events; a smart curved television with educational and inspiring programming; fresh fruit and filtered water. The tranquil design of the Transition Center houses a mosaic mural created by Camp Wilmont Sweeney youth in partnership with Community Works West reflecting their Spirit Animals, and a mirrored “reflecting tree” to inspire feelings of hope and inspiring dreams. The warm and inviting lobby is surrounded by calming wall colors, soothing carpet, and comfortable seating with USB charging capacity.
Supporting our youth’s ability to successfully reintegrate to their community and homes underpinned the changes to the Transition Center’s model. A “warm handoff” begins with the team beginning each youth’s release reentry process within one business day of their arrival into juvenile hall. Probation meets with every youth and their caregiver to evaluate stabilization needs. Accentuating continuity of care the Transition Center joins the treatment services provided while youth are detained to compatible services in the community. The Transition Center provides linkages to vocational training; referrals to counseling and/or mentoring services when appropriate. Probation has committed to addressing all the stabilizing needs of a family and now provides concrete service such as transportation and food vouchers; relocation supports, clothing, school supplies, and household items. After meeting with collaborative partners, a comprehensive transition plan is completed and given to the youth and family to increase their understanding of all referrals and supports. Post-release contact with the youth and their caregivers allows the TC team to assess the effectiveness of current referrals and additional areas of need. With interagency collaboration, our customized database now provides measurable outcomes.
The Transition Center continues to move forward in their essential role of the developing partnership between the Probation Department and the youth and families served.