The Juvenile Court of Floyd County has applied for a grant to establish a Mental Health Treatment Court. The funds, worth more than $230,000, would help pay for mental health assessments to all children entering the juvenile court system. “This will be used for early identification of children with mental illness and reduce their likelihood of penetrating the justice system,” Administrator Catherine Fricks told the Rome News-Tribune. Eligibility for the mental health court is based on the results of the assessment. Children entering the mental health court would receive regular therapy and meet with professionals to establish a treatment plan.
Floyd County has a program that is keeping runaways, truants and children caught up in other status offenses out of juvenile court. The Parent and Family Support Group targets entire families. The Rome News-Tribune is profiling the program in a series of stories. The Support Group was started by former Juvenile Court Probation Officer April Thomas. The group helps children like 13 year old Arianna Creamer, who was hitting and talking back to her mother, Julianne. Julianne turned to Juvenile Court for help. Judge Timothy Pape tells the newspaper he tries to keep unruly kids from hurting themselves without treating them like criminals.