The mission of The Center for Family Outreach is to help Larimer County youth (ages 8 - 18) and their families achieve and sustain long-term positive changes and healthy relationships. We do this by providing individual assessment, education, and custom-designed programs to develop successful and positive citizens.
The Center for Family Outreach was established in 1999 to improve the lives of Larimer County youth (ages 10 - 18) and their families struggling with underage drinking, substance abuse and other high-risk adolescent behavior. Over the past 14 years, more than 5,200 adolescents, primarily first-time offenders with substance-related charges, have been referred to our program through the district attorney's office and juvenile court. Most have successfully completed our program, had all legal charges dropped from their records and put their lives back on track.
In 2011, we opened our proven, early intervention, prevention and educational programs to the entire community to help youth before involvement with the juvenile justice system, before they become addicted to alcohol or drugs and before their health is impacted by long-term substance abuse. In 2013, we further expanded our early intervention services to youth, and now work with youth ages 8-18.
- Improve the lives of children, teens and families by reducing the numbers of youth using alcohol, tobacco and other drugs in Larimer County.
- Improve community safety by reducing youth crime and violence in Larimer County.
- Provide direct intervention, education, support and prevention services to more youth and families struggling with substance abuse and high-risk adolescent behaviors by serving teens referred by the DA's office and probation department, as well as teens and families who self-enroll with no juvenile justice involvement.
- Decrease numbers of youth entering Larimer County juvenile justice system.
A 17-year-old high school athlete recently was referred to The Center after he and his friends were arrested for drinking, breaking into cars and stealing electronic equipment. It was a felony offense, and that charge could have seriously interfered with his educational and professional goals. He was lucky. As a first-time offender, he was referred to The Center's diversion program and given a second chance. After 56 hours of community service, weekly urine and breath analyses to prove sobriety, weekly check-ins, and 12 weeks of classes on substance abuse and other educational topics related to life skills, the felony charge was dropped from his record. He has retained his college scholarships and is back on his path toward becoming a responsible, contributing member of our community.
A second Fort Collins teen, using and selling drugs, was turned over to the police by his parents because they knew he needed help and saw no other alternative. The court referred him to The Center, and he is now working hard to meet our program requirements and to get off drugs, expunge the felony charge from his record and turn his life around.
His parents lament, "If we had only known about The Center before we turned our son over to the law!"