Monday, January 17, 2022

Colonial Group Home Commission changes initiative to Colonial Juvenile Services Commission

The former Crossroads Group Home, which closed last year and will be turned into a fire station serving York County. (WYDaily/Courtesy of Google Earth)

JAMES CITY COUNTY — The James City County (JCC) Board of Supervisors met Tuesday evening and voted unanimously to change the initiative on the Colonial Group Home Commission to the Colonial Juvenile Services Commission (CJSC).

Rebecca Vinroot, director of social services, also serves on this commission. She spoke during the meeting of the need to change the overall mission of the Colonial Group Home Commission to shift towards providing services that reflected the need in the community.

The commission, which was founded in 1985, serves the municipalities of James City, York, and Gloucester counties, along with the City of Williamsburg. Its initial purpose was to run the Crossroads Group Home.

However, last year, the commission, along with these localities, voted to close the group home after it was found to be not cost effective.

Also in attendance with Vinroot was Director of Community Services Brian Fuller, who oversees the regional commission. He said the home was equipped to house 16 kids but was only handling three at a time.

But the Crossroads Group Home was just one of the many programs the CJSC offers for the commission, Fuller pointed out.

“The judges in the court systems and court service unit are looking at alternative ways. They want to keep the families together as much as possible. So we’ve seen an increase in electronic monitoring,” Fuller said.

Though the commission has electronic monitoring of the kids, social services is still required to do at least three check-ins with the families every week, with one check-in required to be on the weekend.

With this new shift in keeping juveniles with their families and conducting check-ins, the commission has had to refocus much of their time and resources to provide programs to prevent delinquency in at risk youths and services to their families. Fuller added the commission has recently initiative fatherhood programs and also continues to council juveniles through the court system process.

“The purpose is to continue to work with our juveniles and these localities to make sure we have comprehensive, community-based programs and services,” Vinroot said.

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