Hancock County Youth Court Task Force Report [Mississippi].
Hancock County Youth Court Task Force (Miss.)
1 v. (various pagings)
Published: July 2016
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In January 2015, the Hancock County Youth Court Task Force (HCYCTF) was formed to explore why so many children were placed in the Mississippi Department of Human Services (DHS) custody and necessary reforms. The method by which the concerns were addressed was through the formation of four committees: the Data and Statistics committee, the Systems committee, the Parent Representative committee, and the Coordination of Services committee. These committees met and conducted independent evaluations and made independent recommendations. The report begins by noting that in December 2015, there were 459 children from Hancock Count in the custody of the DHS, the largest number of children in custody in any one county, per capita, in the State of Mississippi. Reports from the committees are then presented, followed by findings and recommendations. Findings indicate there are numerous factors impacting the number of children in custody. The Task Force found that the largest single factor can be attributed to the substantial numbers of Hancock County parents that are using drugs. A study was conducted by the staff of the Hancock County Youth Court of every case in Hancock County in September 2015. As a result of the study, it was determined that more than 75% of the families with children in custody are suffering from the effects of drug addiction and that the drug of choice is generally considered to be more severe than alcohol or marijuana. Sixteen recommendations are made for assisting in the reunification of children with their parents when possible and for permanent placement of children when reunification is not possible.
Mississippi; removing child from home; child placement; foster children; statistics; risk factors; substance abusing parents; child welfare reform; family reunification