Minnesota Youth "ACE" Intervention Program

By McVicker, Carrie | Children's Voice, September/October 2003 | Go to article overview
Save to active project

Minnesota Youth "ACE" Intervention Program


McVicker, Carrie, Children's Voice


EMERGING PRACTICE

Quasi-experimental study, a correlational or ex post facto study, posttest only, single group pre- and posttest, comparison group.*

All Children Excel

According to research in England, New Zealand, and the United States, most chronic juvenile offending can be attributed to just a few youth. Many of these young people show signs of trouble before they reach puberty.

Alarmed at the growing number of children under age 10 committing delinquent acts, the Ramsey County (St. Paul), Minnesota, Board of Commissioners developed the All Children Excel (ACE) program in 1998. The program is bolstered by cost-effective, researched strategies that target children under 12 predicted to become chronic serious delinquent offenders.

In St. Paul, some 702 children under age 10 had police reports for delinquent acts between 1995 and 1998. The combined effort of county government, schools, police, parents, health and social services agencies, and community volunteers, ACE was designed to reduce risk factors in the lives of identified children and build resiliency in them, their families, and their communities.

Rigorous Selection, Personal Intervention

Children are accepted into the ACE program through a rigorous referral and acceptance process. The school or police department sends the child's police report to the Ramsey County Attorney's office. This process provides the program with the legal authority to bring a Child in Need of Protection or Services (CHIPS) petition if the parents fail to cooperate.

Although a last resort, this is a very important option the county can bring to bear on resistant families. Programs without this leverage, such as voluntary services, usually aren't successful with these children.

A thorough background check is performed on the child's family, examining where the family has lived, for how long, and how often they have moved; involvement in the criminal justice system; and use of county and community services. A multidisciplinary screening team of seven people-including a mental health professional, a corrections representative, a social worker, and others-reviews the police report to further assess the child's risk for serious, violent delinquency.

After the child is accepted into the program, ACE sends community agency social workers to visit the family and create a strength-based action plan that involves the entire family. With support from a six-person county multidisciplinary team, including a senior protection worker, a public health representative, the county attorney, and others, ACE community workers focus on the needs of the child-in such areas as school attendance, academic skills, and impulse control-and the family, helping parents obtain counseling, parenting skills training, substance abuse treatment, job training, employment opportunities, and housing.

Praising their ACE worker, one family said, "We know we can call you about anything. We like that you meet with us face to face-the close contact. You are there for us like a real person. You are not like other workers, you really know our family, and we really know you. We trust you. We know that you really support us. This program is helping our family a lot, especially our son."

Assessing Risk, Evaluating Outcomes

An important contribution to ACE's success was the development of a risk assessment tool that would immediately show risk levels for children referred to the program. The tool needed to be short, easy to use, and able to accommodate missing data. ACE officials developed a Risk Factor Profile that takes about 15 minutes to complete on a computer. Scores estimate a child's overall risk for chronic and serious juvenile delinquency.

The Risk Factor Profde examines the child's referring offense, behavior history, risk factors, and temperament, as well as parent, sibling, peer, and community risk factors. Scores range from O (no risk) to 7 (extreme risk for offending).

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited article

Minnesota Youth "ACE" Intervention Program
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?