Ports in the area offer summer support for families and youth

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Families and youth who need counseling, tutoring and other support services over the summer are reminded that the Harbor Juvenile Assessment program is here to help.

The haven has five locations in the Las Vegas Valley that are open seven days a week from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. to help families deal with problem behaviors and other concerns. Signs that children and young people may need help include depression, anxiety, drug or alcohol use, isolation, bullying, crime, or behavior changes. Appointments can be made by calling the main program number at (702) 455-6912. Walk-in customers are accepted. Locations and more information about the program are listed on the website at www.theharborlv.com.

“The pandemic has taken a toll on our community and families, and the transition back to in-person learning in school has been difficult for many children,” said Jack Martin, director of Clark County Juvenile Justice Services, which coordinates the Harbor program with several community partners. “We encourage youth and families to contact the port if they need services to get a fresh start over the summer so they can start a great school year this fall.”

The port began as a pilot program in 2016 to provide diversionary services to prevent juveniles from entering the juvenile court system. Counseling, mentoring, substance abuse treatment and life skills courses are the most important areas for referrals. Community partners supporting the Port’s operations include the Clark County School District, the Clark County Department of Family Services, local cities and police departments, the Nevada Departments of Health and Human Services and Child and Family Services, the Clark County Family Court and the Clark County District Attorney’s Office, Eagle Quest, Three Square and several non-profit organizations.

Because of its success working with youth and families, Clark County has expanded the port and created the School Refusal Prevention Program (TPOP). TPOP grew out of the Port’s work with families and community partners to address the underlying causes of truancy and chronic absenteeism. Student absences are often due to issues the program is addressing, including health issues and family issues such as housing instability, food insecurity and childcare issues, all of which have been exacerbated for many families during the pandemic.

To date, the port has served more than 23,000 youth and families. About 25 percent of Harbor’s customers are community walk-ins, brought to the center by parents or caregivers seeking guidance with their children. Another 35 percent are families who have been referred to the port by the school district and government partners. Other referrals come directly from police dropping off children at a port location, rather than from the juvenile detention center or detention center reception staff, who divert children to a port when they have been arrested for a first-time or minor offence. Anyone in the community who believes a child or family could benefit from the Harbor, including coaches, ministers and relatives, is encouraged to contact the program for referrals to local resources.
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Clark County is a dynamic and innovative organization dedicated to delivering superior service with integrity, respect and accountability. With jurisdiction over the world-famous Las Vegas Strip and an area the size of New Jersey, Clark is the 11thth-Largest county, providing comprehensive regional services to 2.3 million citizens and 45.6 million visitors per year (2019). Included are the 8 of the nationth– Busiest airport, air quality compliance, social services and the state’s largest public hospital, University Medical Center. The county also provides municipal services traditionally provided by cities for 1 million residents in the unincorporated area. These include fire protection, roads and other public works, parks and recreation, and planning and development.

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