If we took the best ideas from across the world to Maryland, our state would be the best place for children and families in America. But this isn’t happening.
For example, Missouri has developed the best model for rehabilitating delinquent youth. Youth are served in small, regional facilities; families are involved from the beginning. Recidivism is 8 percent; compared with 38 percent in Maryland.
Yet, recently, when we looked at Maryland’s newest juvenile facility, we found that it wasn’t using any of the elements that have made the Missouri model so successful.
Why are we so resistant to using best practices even those pioneered in our own state?
Given the state’s dire financial situation, perhaps there will be renewed enthusiasm for research-based strategies that produce better results with the same resources.
This includes not only the Missouri practice model but also: bonuses to attract good principals to challenging schools; Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports for disruptive students; tutoring and summer school; Multi-Systemic Therapy and Family Team Decision Making for families in crisis; performance-based contracting for group homes; and prenatal care.