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CJCJ congratulates Terence Baugh, our new Director of Behavioral Health!

CJCJ’s new Director of Behavioral Health grew up in the same neighborhoods where he now works with youth and families impacted by the juvenile justice system. Terence Baugh moved around San Francisco a lot as a youth: he lived in Bernal Heights, across from the Army Street Projects, until he was about 10 years old, then moved to the Excelsior and Mission Terrace neighborhoods, Visitacion Valley, and Daly City – shifting between living with his mom and dad.  As a teenager, he attended Lick-Wilmerding High School in Balboa Park.

Terence says growing up in San Francisco influenced his development profoundly. “I was exposed to a lot of street violence and intense cultural tension,” he said. “It was common that I would be playing in Precita Park or Visitacion Park, right next to Geneva Towers, and get jumped or attacked.  The streets rarely felt safe.”

His personal experiences have allowed him to empathize with the youth he works with at CJCJ. “Growing up in that environment allowed me to have an understanding of how trauma can impact kids’ lives so directly, and have such a huge impact on their affect and behaviors. It becomes clear from an early age that it makes sense to embody strategies and personalities that will appropriately allow them to survive and feel protected.”

Terence now manages CJCJ’s Juvenile Justice Behavioral Health programs: Community Options for Youth (COY), Placement Diversion and Re-entry Program (PDRP), and our Wraparound program. These programs are focused on ensuring that youth on probation, with acute mental or behavioral health needs, are supported by clinical case managers, counselors, clinicians, and care coordinators who can provide intensive case management and therapeutic support.

“Too often, I see that these kids are not getting the support they deserve from the education system, community resources, and most unfortunately, their families often don’t have the capacity to fully meet their needs,” says Terence. “Our clients feel financial pressures early on and are forced to grow up too quickly, sometimes they are forced to make decisions they’re not ready for. Sometimes these decisions, brought on by psycho-social factors and disadvantages, result in their involvement in the juvenile justice system.” 

Terence recognizes the struggles of kids growing up in impoverished and disenfranchised communities, but acknowledges the privileges he was granted. “I was able to go to private schools, get a lot of support from teachers one on one, and had a really loving family,” he says. “But I feel I have an understanding of where they are coming from and why they are making certain choices, so I would never presume to judge their behaviors and decisions. In fact, my hope for the youth and families is that they can take the challenges they have faced, overcome adversities, and become the change they want to see.”

This is the same mindset Terence looks for in his behavioral health staff: an understanding of what youth in the Bay Area are dealing with that might bring them into the juvenile justice system in the first place. “I look for individuals who have similar life experiences, and understand how to build relationships and rapport in a style that allows them be credible, trusted, and nurturing with this population.”

“Having a diverse staff that has lived knowledge around what it’s like to grow up in the inner city, be part of the justice system, or experience incarceration is crucial to embodying a common language and a shared understanding.”

Before becoming Director of Behavioral Health, Terence obtained his MA in Integral Counseling Psychology from the California Institute of Integral Studies, which he describes as a more transpersonal and spiritual school of psychology: “It requires a lot of work on yourself. It’s difficult to complete the program without going through the crucible of looking at your own trauma, seeing where you have blind spots, and making sure those don’t interfere with the welfare of your clients.”

Shortly after graduation, Terence joined CJCJ as a Clinical Case Manager. He then transitioned into the Clinician role for three years and now serves as the Director of Behavioral Health. He is also a fully licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. October will mark his fifth anniversary with the agency. 

In reflecting on his new role at CJCJ, Terence remarks, “I really love this position because it is the culmination of my life’s work. I deeply enjoy the balance of providing clinical care in the community, along with the management, training, and development of our staff. CJCJ’s mental health team works hard in continuing to grow, learn, and always find new ways to care about the kids and families. That kindness and big-heartedness is at the forefront of what we do. I see CJCJ as one of the leaders of this community in the ways we’re able to engage with our youth, and continuously balance the challenges of working within the juvenile justice system. It’s exciting to be able to affect kids lives and be there with them throughout the process of helping them get off probation, and to a much larger extent, help them care about themselves.”


 Related Links:

CJCJ gives young people adventure, health services & professional opportunities

CJCJ clinical case managers set clients on the path to rehabilitation

CJCJ’s Direct Services

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