The Front Porch provides services for youth under the age of 18 years and their families, as part of Chatham County's Community Risk Reduction program, authorized by O.C.G.A.
Sections 15-11-38 through 15-11-41
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The purpose of The Front Porch is to assist youth and families who are at risk of becoming involved with the Court for delinquency, dependency and children in need of services (CHINS) to access available community resources that lead to better outcomes for both the youth and their families and improved community safety. Participation in the Front Porch is wholly voluntary.
The Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) establishing the Front Porch was signed in November and December 2018 by 11 agencies, including Chatham County Juvenile Court (CCJC), Chatham County (funds the Blueprint grant), City of Savannah (provides the building that the Front Porch operates out of), District Attorney of Chatham County, Savannah Chatham County Public School System (SCCPSS), Chatham County Safety Net Planning Council, State of Georgia Division of Family and Children Services, Gateway Community Service Board, Coastal Georgia Indicators Coalition, St. Joseph's/Candler, and The Mediation Center of the Coastal Empire, Inc. The MOU creates an Interagency Oversight Group (IOG) consisting of representatives of those agency, as well as citizen and other nongovernmental and governmental representatives. The IOG provides guidance for the continuing operation and future enhancement of The Front Porch, particularly (i) long-term strategies in support of stakeholder needs and objectives as well as legislative mandates; (ii) resources required to adequately maintain operations and accomplish stakeholder needs and objectives; and (iii) resolution of conflicting opinions and disagreements between the parties.
Our Assessment Center Model Guiding Principles
- Intentionally Equitable
- Continuously Developing Staff
- We See Youth and Family as Partners
- We Use Approaches that are Developmentally Appropriate & Strengths-based
- We Are Research-based, Data-driven & Believe in Continuous Evaluation
What We Do
The Front Porch – Where Youth and Families Gather, is a community-based risk reduction program. Youth who are referred to The Front Porch are assessed to identify any needs, concerning behaviors or situations that may warrant intervention. The Front Porch staff will then connect youth and families with appropriate services to address those needs.
If you have a question or need to screen a child/family, please call 912-652-6555
The Front Porch is a multi-agency resource center, designed to divert at-risk youth from becoming involved with juvenile court by linking them and their families to services.
The Front Porch serves Chatham County children up to age 18
- Status Offenses
- Ungovernable/CHINS (Child in Need of Services)
- Runaways that have returned home
- Misdemeanors that will not be filed with Juvenile Court
- Families who are in need of services and do not know where to turn!
- Felonies or Misdemeanors of a High and Aggravated Nature
- Misdemeanor cases which will be filed with Juvenile Court
- Youths with active warrants
- Youths with open cases at Juvenile Court
- Complete electronic referral form (can be requested by completing the Contact Us form)
- Include all information about youth and parent.
- Email the completed referral form to the address provided on the form
- Once received, the parent/legal guardian will be contacted to schedule an assessment with the child and parent.
- After the assessment is completed, the case manager will refer the child to appropriate service to benefit the family
- Referring agency may be contacted for follow-up information or questions
- Behavioral health (individual/family counseling, evaluations, substance abuse assessments)
- Pro-social activities (Performance Initiatives, Youth Intercept, i9 Sports, 100 Black Men, DEEP)
- Parent support (Parent University, Shelter from the Rain)
- Basic needs (Clothing closet, PACK food and hygiene bags)
The Front Porch is open Monday – Friday, from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm with extended hours until 7:00 pm on Wednesdays and Thursdays
Currently, we are not equipped or staffed to accept drop-offs. We would request that a referral be sent to us and we will contact the parent to schedule an assessment.
An assessment is conducted with both the child and a parent or legal guardian, who can consent to the assessment
No, The Front Porch is not a residential program. Families seeking placement for juveniles should contact Park Place Outreach (912-234-4048)
Services provided by The Front Porch are free of charge! If we refer a child to services such as counseling, which incur costs, we will take the child's insurance into consideration and refer them accordingly
We will not turn away a family requesting help and will make every effort to accommodate them; however, due to limited staffing on site, we would prefer to make appointments with families.