The New Paths program is a specialized intervention service offered to families of children with a developmental disability or cognitive delay. Specially trained Court Officers work with the family and youth to assist in facilitating their involvement through the juvenile justice system. Once identified as a special needs child the New Paths Court Officer will act at the primary liaison between the family and the Court, and follow the family through the intake, assessment, adjudication, and supervision of the child. Ordinarily, this process may involve several Court workers from multiple departments, but the New Paths program recognizes that having a single Court Officer promotes consistency and continuity of care. New Paths is the first initiative in the State of Ohio to develop a dedicated docket to provide for and accommodate special needs youth.

New Paths Brochure


O.P.E.N. Court is a new video series to help youth with developmental disabilities as they enter the juvenile court system. The videos center around Henry, a 14-year-old with autism, who is stopped by an authority while leaving an electronics store with an iPad. The first video educates youth's rights and responsibilities in the juvenile justice system. The second video talks about courtroom procedures from the summons or arrest to disposition. The third video seeks to instill confidence and calm in the youth by providing positive behavior to model while in the courtroom. A companion piece for adults is also included in this free educational material. This material was created by the Ohio Bar Foundation's 2011 Fellows Class.


To view additional videos please click here