Juvenile Justice Program

Youth who have been charged with status offenses such as truancy, incorrigible behavior, curfew violations or unruliness often face uncertainty. Our Juvenile Justice Services can help create lasting, productive solutions that empower youth to use behavioral tools to deal with stressful situations and improve their self-esteem.

What Our Juvenile Justice Programs Do

OhioGuidestone’s Juvenile Justice programs aim to divert youth from official court proceedings and get a second chance. We empower parents and assist youth with developing stronger social skills. Where youth in our programs can expect improvement:

  • Anger management
  • Problem solving
  • Non-violent solutions
  • Communication with family and school

OhioGuidestone works with courts to improve youth outcomes and self-esteem. Our programs help children and teens work through issues.

Our Programs

The following are programs we use and recommend for our youth clients.


ProKids is a nonprofit agency that provides volunteer advocacy for children who have been exposed to abuse or neglect. ProKids advocates for children who are in the child protection system (CPS). The organization recruits, trains and supports court appointed special advocates (CASA) to work tirelessly to ensure a safe and loving environment in which all children have opportunities to grow and thrive.

Children who have been assigned to CASA volunteers have found success. A national study shows that kids assigned with CASA volunteers spent less time in foster care during long periods of time and moved locations less often.

CASA volunteers are court-appointed advocates for children in the foster care system. CASA volunteers are champions for the best interest of foster care kids. Children in the foster care system will sometimes face important but complicated decisions impacting their futures, such as where they will reside and attend school. CASA volunteers work to ensure the child’s needs are understood, and not ignored.


The Prevent Relapse Occurrence Team with Enhanced Case management and Treatment (Protect) was created to work with juveniles who have shown sexual behavior problems who are not incarcerated or are returning to the community following separation. Best practices indicate that interaction programs are the most successful methods to employ when they incorporate both behavioral methods as well as strategic prevention components. PROTECT services are designed to work specifically with individuals who have been identified as participating in “sexting” behavior or other minor-related sexual behavior issues.

What is “sexting”?

Sexting is sending or receiving sexual messages through technology, usually either from messaging apps or direct messages on social media apps, but can also be through webcam, email or other methods. While sexting can be a way for a person to explore their sexuality, sexting can also lead to bullying, blackmail and exploitation.

These texts involve:

  • Message or post written with sexual language
  • Photos or videos of sexual acts
  • Live chats with a person on webcam involving sexual acts

Behavioral Diversion Education (BDE)

Most young people in Ohio’s Juvenile Justice system possess a history of behavioral health issues. Some of these are related to mental health or substance use disorders. Many have also experienced trauma, which intersects with other issues. It can make it harder for local jurisdictions to adequately address problems that make behavioral issues more likely or provide effective treatment. Juvenile Justice programs seek to remedy this by transforming local systems and expanding the range of treatments available to better serve kids in need of more guidance, structure, and assistance.

Functional Family Therapy

Functional Family Therapy is a family-based prevention and intervention program for at-risk youth who face further court involvement.

Functional Family Therapy will improve family communication, supportiveness, and problem solving while reducing blaming and negativity, and dysfunctional patterns of behavior.

Making full use of the family’s strengths, the program will aid family members in adopting positive solutions to family problems. The program helps develop positive behavior change and stronger parenting strategies. The program is conducted by master’s level therapists working with each individual family in their home.

The model includes three phases:

  • Motivation Therapy
  • Behavior Change
  • Generalization (more multisystem focused)

Each phase includes assessment, specific techniques of intervention, and therapist goals. Different clients may require different combinations of treatments. Typically, counselors will be local to the area to better understand regional issues that could be at play.

OhioGuidestone Juvenile Justice Program Services are available in the following counties:

Cuyahoga, Erie, Lorain, Fairfield, Franklin, Marion and Union

*Telehealth services are available throughout the state.

OhioGuidestone can help

Are you in need of our services? Contact us today to learn more about next steps and the kind of care you can expect from OhioGuidestone.