LOOMIS, Calif. — As Placer County continues to promote its crisis services throughout Mental Health Matters Month in May, leaders are spotlighting Placer County’s Crisis Resolution Center, a unique public-private partnership with a local nonprofit now in its third decade. Last year, the CRC provided 564 days of care to 41 vulnerable youth aged 12-17 at its residential facility. Staff at the CRC provided nearly 160 hours of intervention services, including family counseling and parent education, with a successful youth discharge rate of over 80%.

Youth staying at the CRC – whether for a few days or more than a month – might be runaways, truant, beyond control of their parents, or at risk of committing crimes that could result in incarceration or costly out-of-home placements. The goal of the CRC is to avoid more serious outcomes and work with youth and families to safely reunify.

“Placer has supported CRC for many years. The goal of the CRC is to do more on the front end so that these kids don’t end up in the criminal justice system,” said Chief Probation Officer Marshall Hopper. “The CRC is a valuable community program that redirects children and families in crisis with services so that these children return home to a more stable environment, where children and families can thrive. This in turn alleviates unnecessary added pressure on the justice system and is good for families.”

The Crisis Resolution Center, located in Loomis and operated by Koinonia Family Services, is a six-bed co-ed facility with professional counseling services, conflict resolution, parent-child training and referral services. Youth remain at the CRC and parents collaborate with CRC staff as they work towards stabilization and reunification.

The CRC is a rarity in California, only lasting as long as it has thanks to creative funding partnerships between the county’s Probation and Health and Human Services departments, particularly the Children’s System of Care. This shared funding is supplemented by Koinonia and private donors, among others. In addition to the residential facility, Koinonia operates a CRC warm line at (866) 251-7584 for youth and families.

“The success of the CRC really has stemmed from our broader efforts to collaborate across different agencies to support youth in our community,” said CSOC director Twylla Abrahamson. “Our probation, school and justice partners have linked arms with us for decades and it’s been truly impactful.”

These agencies first developed a memorandum of understanding shaping how they’d work together – to share ideas, data and funding – back in 1988, forming what’s known as the SMART Policy team.

Placer County is the only in California to see a growth in its youth population since the COVID-19 pandemic – yet youth mental health has also been a growing focus in the wake of the pandemic. As the county continues to build out its portfolio of resources for young people – from recently-expanded mobile crisis services to a planned youth mental health urgent care on the Government Center campus in Auburn – it can lean on its history of success with the CRC.v