Throughout the course of the year, we handle any number of diversion cases. The kids may have taken different paths to get there and they might be with us for different reasons, but the amount of effort and care we put into doing the best possible jobs for them and their families is always the same. It is so important for us to know that the process was productive and that our kids are doing better along the path to a brighter future. We have a practice of following up with our families to see how they’re doing, but its not every day that they reach out to us on their own. Which is why this letter we received out of the blue one day was such a lovely surprise. That and what the sender had to say.

“Dear Mr. Baines and Staff,

As I organize mounds of papers in my office, I came across info from a few years back when my son (16 yrs old then) went through your diversion program. I felt the need to write a Thank You for all your hard work and commitment to these programs.

Back then, as a parent I was extremely worried about the path and choices he was making. I am thankful you accepted my son into this program to help him turn things around. We were also concerned about a juvenile record that could effect his future. We knew he had more potential than the path he was heading down.

You all provided support and options to us. I remember crying several times during the meetings. You provided “tough love” to my son and make him accountable for his actions with the contract he needed to fulfill. I am very thankful as a parent that he did this and made positive changes that year.

You may not feel like you always make a difference but I can assure you that you do. My son graduated in June and is now a United States Marine! He is in future training that requires him to have a security clearance. He is confident, smart and proud to be a part of USMC and serve his country as well as going to college soon.