Client Comments

Kate Harrison Consulting provided us with valuable consulting services in our Unified Family Court analysis and facilitation with county and non-profit agencies. She was willing to look at every angle to improve and refine our plan. Kate brings a broad statewide and national perspective to any project. Anyone who engages this strong, skilled professional will have invested their resources wisely.

Kate Harrison Consulting ably assisted the Mendocino County Superior Court and five human services agencies to develop a grant application for a new program of coordinated services. She facilitated a collaborative working relationship among management, crafted a working plan that had everyone's buy in and investment, and collected all relevant data, and made sense of it while keeping our whole project on task.  She's a Master at what she does!

Clients: The Santa Clara, Mendocino, and Solano County Superior Courts

The Challenge: Inefficiencies and gaps in service often occur when families have matters in different divisions of the court and are being served by a variety of county agencies and non-profit entities. Family members may at the same time, for example, be involved in a custody dispute, face juvenile delinquency charges, and participate in drug court. These families may be required to work with agencies responsible for child protective, mental health, educational, and criminal justice programs; make multiple court appearances; receive conflicting orders; or fail to receive appropriate services. Our clients and the State of California were looking to improve coordination of court and agency operations and improve outcomes for families.

Our Approach

We conducted focus groups, client interviews and data analysis to identify and determine the needs of multi-problem families (there were 700 in the counties studied). We brought together county social service and criminal justice agencies, non-profit organizations and the court. Many of these organizations had not worked or met together in the past. In these meetings, action plans were developed to improve the coordination of court and other county agency efforts and to put structures in place to identify future issues.

The Results

The strategic action plans allowed participants to:

  • Identify multi-problem families on an ongoing basis
  • Develop relationships between and improve coordination of county, court and non-profit treatment and legal services
  • Facilitate more informed and effective judicial decisions
  • Increase participant safety and accountability
  • Reduce the number of court appearances, and
  • Target referrals to community resources

Consultants: Kate Harrison, Wendy Constantine and Lesley Duncan

For the Facilitation Agenda, please click here.

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