Bexar County Juvenile Board awarded $622K federal grant for mental health program

Program designed to assist teens transitioning from residential treatment facilities

SAN ANTONIO – The chief Bexar County juvenile probation officer announced Friday that the Bexar County Juvenile Board was awarded a $622,000 federal grant to assist juveniles with mental health issues in transitioning from residential treatment facilities.

“(The program) allows us to work with kids at a time when they’re very vulnerable,” Chief Juvenile Probation Officer Lynne Wilkerson said Friday. “The ones that go to the secure facility are high need and are at a high risk of re-offending. And if they’re going to re-offend, they’re most likely to re-offend in that first six months they’re released from the facility.”

During that time, the teens will be in the program, which will be staffed with people to deal with re-offending issues.

“We expect it to include a clinician, an assigned probation officer, of course, a case manager and a family partner,” Wilkerson said.

Judicial oversight is a critical component of the re-entry program, according to Wilkerson.

“The courts will be meeting with these children after they’re released from our facility and checking in with them to make sure they’re doing okay,” she said.

When the program begins operating, it will be available to all three Bexar County juvenile courts.

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About the Authors:

Paul Venema is a courthouse reporter for KSAT with more than 25 years experience in the role.

Sal Salazar is a photojournalist at KSAT 12. Before coming to KSAT in 1998, he worked at the Fox affiliate in San Antonio. Sal started off his career back in 1995 for the ABC Affiliate in Lubbock and has covered many high-profile news events since. In his free time, he enjoys spending time at home, gaming and loves traveling with his wife.