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STAR program helps youths


Posted by: tdt -

By Robin Scott

 

The Department of Family and Protective Services funds a program aptly dubbed STAR, Service To At Risk youths and their families. The program is contracted through the department, and in Dalhart, the contract is held with the Texas Panhandle Mental Health and Mental Retardation, MHMR.

Bobby Medford, L.P.C. is the STAR Service Coordinator for Dallam, Hartley, Moore and Sherman Counties. He maintains an office in the DISD Administration building located on 10th Street. He stated, "STAR is a family based program that provides short term counseling crisis resolution and interventions to reduce delinquency and family conflict and serves area youths and their families."

Families with children age seventeen and younger are eligible for services if their youth have run away, been truant, delinquent, are experiencing family conflict or abuse and/or neglect. Children who are on adjudicated probation or have a current CPS investigation are not eligible for services, as they are already covered under CPS services.

Services to youths and their families are provided by referrals coming from the parent or youth, school counselors, juvenile probation officers or other child-serving agencies. All services provided by STAR are free of charge to the families and the program runs year round.

Services provided by STAR include individual or family counseling, skills-based training including communication, problem solving and anger management, crisis intervention, parent education, consultation and collaboration with other youth-serving agencies, case management linking families to additional resources as needed and emergency residential placement.

STAR contracts with community agencies like Panhandle MHMR and STAR services are available in all 254 Texas counties. Each STAR contractor also provides universal child abuse prevention services, ranging from local media campaigns to informational brochures and parenting classes.

For more information about STAR, contact Bobby Medford at 244.7297 or visit www.dfps.state.tx.us.