A coalition is a multi-disciplinary team of professionals working together to address the educational, emotional and disciplinary needs of the youth on the reservation who are engaging in fire setting activities. The Youth Fire Intervention Program utilizes a coalition approach to address the youth-set fire problem on the reservations.
Wildfire knows no bounds, therefore, youth not only endanger their own health and well-being when they disrespect and inappropriately use fire, the entire Tribe is also placed at risk. That is why the coalition must have representation from the many agencies that serve at-risk youth. The coalition includes members of the Bureau of Indian Affairs Wildland Fire Prevention, Behavioral Health, Child Protective Services, Fire Department, Juvenile Court and Prosecution, Law Enforcement and Cultural Resources. All of these members are devoted to the idea that these children can and must receive both the basic fire safety and survival education that many are lacking. Additional assistance many be needed in the areas of mental health and protective services.
The lists below are a suggestion of some of the partners that could be valuable assets to the Program. Below the table are suggestions regarding what roles these resources might have and what services they could contribute to the Program.
|Fire Services||Social Services|
|Tribal Courts &/or State Courts (Public Law 280 tribes)||Youth After School &/Or Recreation Departments|
|Mental Health / Behavioral Health Practitioners||Elders Councils|
|Child Protective Services||Other Interested Parties|
- Often see or hear about kids setting fires. It is important that they be aware of the program and know how to refer youth into the program.
- The school can be a good site for primary fire safety education.
- May be able to provide the program with space to conduct intervention education.
- Often the schools will have access to counseling services which may be needed.
- Can require youth to complete a program prior to being readmitted into school.
Wildland and/or Structure Fire Services
- These services are often the first to identify that a youth is involved in firesetting activities. As such they may be responsible for the initial intake and screening of the youth. It is important that all responders are aware of the Intervention program and know how to refer kids to it.
- Fire service personnel can be very effective at conducting primary education since they can often share personal experiences with the youth.(These personnel need to be educated in intake and interview procedures so they can properly document information and recognize situations where kids need to be referred to other services.)
Law Enforcement Personnel are:
- Involved in the initial incident if a crime has been committed. They need to know how to refer as well.
- May recognize that a given youth is having trouble in other areas as well, this may help direct the referral process.
- Trained in how to conduct interviews and interrogations.
Law Enforcement personnel do not necessarily have to be police. Youth Detention Corrections Officers or Probation Officers could also be effective partners.
- Mental Health Services
Can provide additional assessments and counseling to children and families that are identified as high risks for recidivism or have other emotional or social issues.
- Health and Public Health Services
This can be great way to get information about the program out to the public. Brochures and handouts can be shared from those offices when families are visiting.
It could be possible to partner up on public service announcements relating to fire safety and burn prevention.
- Tribal Council/Court Representation
It will be necessary for the Tribal Council and Courts to be on board with this effort. They provide the “teeth” that may be able to require a youth and his/her parents to attend the intervention program and complete some sort of restitution or face legal consequences.
ii.This representative will hopefully have a good working knowledge of the Tribal Codes as they relate to fire, youth justice and child protection. If those codes are not developed yet they will be able to help with that process.