OMAHA, Nebraska — A residential child treatment center that will cost $25 million and be built in North Omaha with the goal of filling a service gap in the metro area. This service gap has resulted in the courts and families of some disturbed teenagers sending them to other states for help.
The brand-new non-profit organization called Radius will provide a facility with 24 bedrooms for residents between the ages of 12 and 18, as well as behavioral, recreational, and educational programs, as well as a standalone health clinic that will be open to the community and families.
The alternative to more stringent juvenile imprisonment, which is slated to open the following summer at the intersection of 50th and Grand Avenues, is intended to enhance the family unit as a whole.
Radius will be able to operate with the assistance of government funds thanks to referrals from the state’s juvenile probation system and courts. The construction costs were covered by a private effort that was funded by philanthropists.
The collaborating clinic will accept Medicaid as well as a variety of other insurance coverage plans. It will be staffed by the Charles Drew Health Center.
The Chief Executive Officer of Radius, Nick Juliano, stated that the combination of a residential program with clinical support that can involve the entire family will assist Douglas County in taking care of its own youth and improve the odds of long-term success as these children grow up in their community.
Juliano, who was formerly the director of Boys Town’s regional advocacy and public policy, stated that “where we will be unique is that we will start that family work on the day of admission and have someone working with family throughout the youth’s stay.” “Where we will be unique is that we will start that family work on the day of admission and have someone working with family throughout the youth’s
According to him, the current system places juveniles who have broken the law but who would be better off outside of a typical jail in residential treatment facilities that are often located outside of their home county or even outside of the state of Nebraska. He stated that even though there are local facilities that can meet the demand, those facilities are frequently at capacity. According to him, advocates of Radius want to avoid having to put a young person in jail until a residential treatment space becomes available.
Radius intends to be a “gap-filler,” he said, allowing local youths to get intensive treatment closer to family members who, in an ideal scenario, become part of the antidote that propels the youths onto a more productive path. Radius’s goal is to help local youths get their lives back on track and become more productive adults.
Nearly 30,000 square feet of additional space has been added.
Juliano suggested that the average citizen of Radius might suffer from a variety of extreme behaviors that go beyond breaking the law. It’s possible that their requirements call for a setting that’s less rigorous than a psychiatric hospital but more comprehensive than a typical group home.
It’s possible that they need treatment for both their mental health and their substance misuse issues at the same time. In addition to addressing all of these issues, our program is designed to provide participants with access to services that can be utilized even after they have graduated from our other offerings.
We offer a comprehensive range of services, including… Despite this, there was a population of young people in our city of Omaha who were not receiving the support they required.
The chief executive officer of Radius, Nick Juliano
According to Chris Rodgers, a commissioner in Douglas County who is strongly involved in the reform of the juvenile justice system, the county applauds Radius. He referred to it as one of the “key tools” that might help meet a goal of ensuring that the new downtown Omaha juvenile justice center houses no more inmates than are required to do so due to the severity of their offenses.
Rodgers stated that the aim has always been to have additional community resources to lessen the dependence on jail for nonviolent juveniles. That county detention facility, which is slated to open in 2023, has fewer beds than the existing youth center.
When the design for the Radius campus, which involves the addition of roughly 30,000 square feet of new building space, was initially presented to the City Council, it was received with worry and criticism from residents of the surrounding region. Before the council gave their approval, further safety measures were put into place.
Metro Area Youth Services (MAYS), an independent nonprofit organization that just relocated into the space that had housed St. Paul Lutheran Church and school, is Radius’s next-door neighbor. The organizations that are geared at young people take up about 10 acres combined.
Radius, formerly known as the Nebraska Youth Justice Initiative, was born out of an advisory committee that was established in 2019 to investigate the shortage of residential services for youths dealing with issues related to trauma, mental health, and substance abuse. Radius was formerly known as the Nebraska Youth Justice Initiative.
A tale can be inferred from the name “Radius.”
The advisory council was comprised of specialists from the government, mental health, and other fields, as well as a parent and a young person who had previously been required to go outside of the state in order to gain access to the kinds of services that Radius will offer.
By that point, a significant amount of time and effort had already been invested in the process of researching justice reform within state and county governments.
These young people get access to a comprehensive range of programs provided by our organization. It’s a great continuum to look at. “Despite this, we had a group of young people that were not getting what they required right here in Omaha,” Juliano explained. “We are now filling that gap, very purposefully and focused so that we are not replicating what others are already doing.”
The name Radius was chosen so that it would reflect the story of the organization: “Trauma-informed care begins in the heart, where the causes of human challenges are discovered. From there, healing and redemption radiate outward.”
Juliano stated that it is anticipated that the youths will reside on-site for nine months to a year, during which time they will participate in a curriculum that has been approved by the Nebraska Department of Education and receive credits. They will participate in therapeutic programming as well as recreational activities.
According to what he had to say, “It will have a ripple effect that will be to the benefit of our youngsters, families, neighborhood, and community.”
Juliano noted that the Charles Drew Health Clinic is available to provide assistance to families and children even if they are not involved in the juvenile court system. He stated that the services provided by the clinic also attempt to avert difficulties and intervention from the court.
Philanthropic foundations provide financial support for the Radius project. There are important representatives from the psychiatry department at the University of Nebraska Medical Center, Charles Drew centers, the Sherwood Foundation, Security National Bank, and the legal profession on the board.
Juliano believes that the key to the program’s long-term success is ensuring that rehabilitated young people and their families have a relationship with a health care practitioner.
“In order for them to be there without risking their safety or breaking the law,” They are able to graduate from high school and will ultimately find work in our community.