The Placement Unit is responsible for researching and recommending placement facilities. They assess the juveniles’ needs and strive to match the juveniles’ needs to the appropriate placements/services. Generally, placement is a last resort for a juvenile, after failing several other interventions by the department and/or there is a significant behavioral/delinquent issue that requires out-of-home placement. Therefore, the Placement Unit tries very hard to secure the best treatment program for the juvenile in an attempt to get the juvenile on track and avoid further, more serious legal ramifications. Currently, the department has contracts with 31different placements, which include two programs in Iowa, one program in Pennsylvania and one program in Nebraska.
The focus of the Placement Unit is finding services/programs that will help the juvenile improve their situation and behavior as well as gain skills for long-term success. While at the placement facility, the Placement Unit monitors the services promised to assure they are being provided by the program. While the juvenile is in the program, the Placement Unit is responsible for investigating any allegations of mistreatment or abuse, reporting this to the appropriate authorities and taking any necessary action which could include removing the juvenile from the facility. The Placement Unit encourages the parents’ involvement with the juveniles while in placement as well and keeps the courts updated.