Prevention Programs

Prevention Programs

The O’Connell Children’s Shelter has offered multiple family services for children, youth and families in Douglas and surrounding counties since 1996. The goal of prevention programs is to enable families to stay together and avoid court involvement.


The O’Connell Generations program promotes family well-being by working with children and the adults in their lives together.  Families are supported in building a legacy of educational success and economic prosperity that passes from one generation to the next. Case management services are tailored to meet the individual needs of each family member and may include crisis stabilization, referrals to community resources, temporary financial assistance, job readiness and employment support, and other needs. Eligibility requirements include having children between the ages of 0-18 and meeting financial thresholds. 

Truancy Prevention and Diversion
The High School Truancy and Diversion program serves Douglas County high school aged youth (grades 9-12) who have been identified as legally truant to alleviate attendance barriers and promote academic success. Youth work with a case manager who monitors their attendance and grades, provides referrals for additional community support as needed and supports positive communication between families and schools to resolve truancy issues without court involvement. This program also works with high school aged youth who are under court supervision for truancy to support them throughout the court process and prevent the youth from being placed in state custody.

Prevention Case Management
Prevention Case Management is a voluntary prevention program designed to keep Douglas County youth of all ages from becoming court involved in either the Child in Need of Care (CINC-NAN) or juvenile offender systems with the ultimate goal of preventing children from coming into state custody. The program provides case management support using a family centered, trauma informed approach. Families work with a case manager to identify at risk behaviors and develop goals to overcome their barriers successfully. The program provides strengths based assessments and referrals for additional community supports as needed.

Functional Family Therapy
Functional Family Therapy (FFT) is an evidence-based intervention for youth and families used by O’Connell Children’s Shelter to support prevention efforts. This strength-focused family counseling model is designed primarily for at-risk youth who have been referred by the juvenile justice, mental health, school, or child welfare systems. Services are short-term and conducted in home settings and/or can also be provided in schools, child welfare facilities, probation and parole systems, and mental health facilities. FFT works with a young person’s entire family and extrafamilial influences to facilitate positive growth and development.

Intensive Family Services
O’Connell Children’s Shelter Intensive Family Services (IFS) provides an array of services for families referred through the Department for Children and Families (DCF). Services are supportive, intensive when requested, and directed toward restoring and maintaining positive family relationships, safety, and stability beyond system involvement with the family. The program’s goal of keeping families safely together is achieved by assessing the family’s needs, creating a family case plan, monitoring the success of the case plan, referring to appropriate community services and resources as needed, and communicating with collateral contacts to support the family’s progress. Staff provide ongoing parenting support and education and assist families in connecting with needed community services and resources by utilizing Motivational Interviewing, Cognitive Behavioral Treatment and case management supports.

We believe that children are best served by keeping families together and safe. Our Prevention Program serves hundreds of youth and their families every year.