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Referral Process

Youth may be referred to the Academy by their San Diego County Health and Human Services Agency (HHSA) case-carrying social worker or collaterals such as Juvenile Court Judges, minor’s attorneys, Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASAs), and mentors.  A referral form is submitted via fax to the HHSA Academy screener and New Alternatives, Inc. screener for an initial review.  Once a referral is received, the youth is invited to tour the campus and is interviewed by the Academy Director. 

The referral outcome will be one of the following:

  • Acceptance
    • If the youth meets the Admission Guidelines for placement at the Academy, the case-carrying social worker will be informed of the youth’s acceptance by the HHSA Academy Screener.  Since placement at the Academy is voluntary, the youth will be informed of the acceptance.  If the youth is in agreement, the case-carrying social worker will gather necessary documents and inform the court as needed to place the youth at the Academy.
  • Denial
    • If the youth does not currently meet the Admission Guidelines, the HHSA Academy Screener will inform the case-carrying social worker and explain the reasons for the denial.  The reason(s) for denial and any remediation that could lead to future Academy placement will be explained.
  • Other
    • On occasion, a youth may be referred, tour and interview but for a variety of reasons (placed in another setting, needs additional time to stabilize behaviors, etc.), Academy placement is not pursued.
  • Additional Information Required
    • If additional information is needed to make a determination whether a youth is appropriate for the Academy, the HHSA Academy Screener will request child-specific information (i.e. educational, medical, psychological, behavioral, and/or placement) from the case-carrying social worker.