Opportunity to Heal Ferguson Youth

On November 26, 2014 I was contacted by a social worker asking me if I could assist her with a critical problem.  She told me she has been overwhelmed with juveniles picked up by law enforcement due to delinquent behaviors.  When officers attempt to return the youth back home to their parents, they are met with resistence as parents are disgusted with their childrens criminal behaviors, so they refuse to allow them back home.  Parents are mortified to know their children were apart of the pain caused to their city, and to teach their children a lesson, they request the youth are incarcerated.   

Social workers are entered into the picture because the juveniles essentially become homeless and they can not be forced into a shelter because it's voluntary.

As luck would have it Jennifer Whitter contacted me, offering her skills and talent as a full time social work student at UMSL.  Eager to address the need of our community she jumped right in, offering her expertise.

Within a few hours a plan was formed:  
- When DFS makes contact, Dr. Robinson, a culturally trained psychologist, would make immediate contact with the family to discuss the short term plan.
- The youth would be given a grant to contract their stay in a youth shelter for 72 hours in order to receive immediate social services and to contemplate their actions.
- The parent(s) would also contract to accept their youth back home after the teen has completed their 72 hours in a youth shelter.  Parent(s) would be given a grant as well to address critical household needs.
- After the teen returns home, the family will be linked with a casemanger as well as a family therapist to ensure the transition to making healthy choices.

While we understand we can not rebuild businesses lost, we can do our part in making sure it doesn't happen again.  Please help us Heal families and youth so that we can put an end to the hurt in our community.  No more looting.  No more fires.  No more hurting youth hurting other people.

Dr. Marva Robinson  is a licensed Clinical Psychologist in St. Louis in private practice.

Jennifer Whitter is a social work student at the University of Missouri St. Louis.


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Mrva Rbinson 
Saint Ann, MO
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