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Creating the Next Normal at the PbS Agency Coordinators Training

Attended by over 100 juvenile justice professionals from across the country, the Performance-based Standards (PbS) annual Agency Coordinators Training was held virtually for the first time since it started in 2006.

The two-day training began on Thursday, August 6 with PbS Executive Director Kim Godfrey Lovett introducing guest speaker Elizabeth Cauffman, University of California Irvine, who gave an energetic presentation on adolescent brain development and the impact on decision making. She also shared some exciting new initiatives on the horizon.

The next session was a dynamic roundtable conversation with Darrell Garrison of Alaska, Aundrea Newman of Arizona and George Iannetta of Delaware, moderated by PbS Coach Joyce Burrell. The group discussed the challenges in their respective geographic areas and how they overcame obstacles like food shortages and unfortunate losses through the pandemic and protests currently affecting our nation. The group ended with an interactive question and answer segment.

The following day, Ms. Godfrey Lovett introduced PbS Coach Al Lick, who moderated a panel of the 2020 PbS Barbara Allen-Hagen Award finalists sharing their impressive Facility Improvement Plans (FIPs). The panel included Theron Powell of Alaska, Bryan LaBrake of Arizona, Beverly Wilder of Idaho and Emily Daniels of Massachusetts, along with their respective PbS Coaches, Janice Shallcross, Dan Maldonado, Russ Jennings and Karl Alston. The panelists spoke individually about improving emergency preparedness, reducing confinement, improving mental health programming and improving family engagement. Presentations were followed by a lively question-and-answer session with participants.

The training was capped off by the PbS Awards Celebration, transformed into a virtual event celebrating the achievements of youths and staff in facilities and programs all over the United States. Highlights of the night included the PbS Kids Got Talent Contest solo winner performer, the many winners of the PbS Education and Employment Foundation awards: Scholarship, Reentry, Employment Matching, and the announcement of the PbS Barbara Allen-Hagen Award winners. Representatives from the Barbara Allen-Hagen winning facilities joined the presentation live to speak about their facilities.

More information and recordings for available sessions can be found at:

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PbS measures and monitors facility practices by collecting and reporting data from administrative records and survey responses from youths, staff and families to provide a holistic picture of the conditions and quality of life in residential facilities, highlights the practices that are effective in promoting youths’ healthy maturation and identifies those that are not. PbS data is reported every April and October.  PbS trains staff to use the information to change practices and support reforms implementing the adolescent development approach.

PbS has been a partner in assisting this facility to become a dynamic work environment that is not satisfied with maintaining the status quo.