An Effective California Fellowship Program For Homicide Prevention

National Council on Crime and Delinquency pic
National Council on Crime and Delinquency
Image: nccdglobal.org

With a background as a psychiatrist, Bruce Maag has focused his career on expanding Ohio’s network of treatment foster care agencies. Bruce Maag is one of the Foster Family Based Treatment Association founders and was the organization’s fifth president. He is also active with the National Council on Crime and Delinquency (NACD), which focuses on child welfare and juvenile justice issues.

NACD was recently in the news for the success of its innovative fellowship program in Richmond, California, which has one of the nation’s highest homicide rates. In 2007 alone, the city of 100,000 experienced 45 murders: a rate that exceeded Washington D.C’s rate by a factor of three.

Coordinating with the newly formed Office of Neighborhood Safety, NACD offered “potentially lethal” young men $1,000 each month simply for simply participating in the program and staying out of trouble.

A recent evaluation of the fellowship program, now in its eighth year, found that it has been effective. The costs were far less expensive than those associated with homicide, which average $400,000 when prison and medical expenses are considered. The program is now being considered by violence-stricken communities such as Oakland, California, and Toledo, Ohio.

Children in the U.S. Foster Care System

Foster Care pic
Foster Care
Image: people.howstuffworks.com

Bruce Maag serves as the Chief Executive Officer of the International Phoenix Group (IPG) in Delphos, Ohio, an organization focused on North American youth with severe emotional issues. Bruce Maag dedicates his time and resources to advocating for underserved youth, some of whom are a part of the foster care system.

According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Administration for Children and Families, there are over 100,000 children waiting to be adopted and over 400,000 in the foster care system. On average, children will spend two years in foster care. Many of these children don’t fully recall or understand what happened to their biological parents. However, the majority desperately want to be a part of a home and adopted by a loving family.

Likewise, families who support these children almost always do it out of a place of love and kindness. Yet many foster children will require time for adjustment and will need to go through an emotional healing process. Getting to a place of mutual trust can be a trying task for foster children and parents. Additionally, the adoption process itself is a long and formal one, which can be exhausting and disappointing if the adoption is not approved. However, there are organizations that can support both parents and children through the adoption.

Child Neglect in the United States

Child Neglect  pic
Child Neglect
Image: acf.hhs.gov

Bruce Maag is a psychology graduate who has worked in the fields of business and psychology through the years. In 2001, Bruce Maag founded the Ohio-based company International Phoenix Group Treatment Foster Care, a center that is dedicated to serving children and youth who have experienced abuse or neglect.

Child neglect is defined by the National Child Abuse and Neglect Data System (NCANDS) as “the failure by the caregiver to provide needed, age-appropriate care although…able to do so…” In the United States, neglect is the most common form of child maltreatment, with over hundreds of thousands of reported cases each year. In 2005, NCANDS reported almost 900,000 cases.

Neglect takes four forms: physical, educational, medical, and psychological. Signs of neglect are often observed by third parties, such as relatives, neighbors, or school personnel, who are close to the victim. In cases of suspected neglected, concerned persons may report it to their respective local social services for prompt action.