The North Carolina Teen Court Association (NCTCA) is an organization that is made up of representatives of many local Teen Court program staff members. To join, dues of $50 per year must be paid by the local program. This allows those individuals affiliated with the local program to become active members, but each local program has only one vote. The funds raised through dues are used to manage the business matters of the organization.
Why do local programs join NCTCA? Local programs join NCTCA, because it gives them opportunities to enhance their knowledge and skills, meet others doing similar work, and look for new ideas or find solutions to pressing issues. Being part of the NCTCA also allows them to be part of an organized advocacy group for Teen Courts.
The NCTCA meets four times each year, usually in January, March, July, and October. The July meeting is held at the annual NCTCA Conference. This conference also includes training and networking time. It is a time to ask questions, share concerns, solve problems, and enjoy the company of others who strongly believe in Teen Courts and value their benefit to the youth who are served through the local programs.
In the spring, the NCTCA also hosts a Teen Summit. The Summit usually involves a Mock Trial Competition, workshops, a dance, and a fun opportunity for the Teen Court teen volunteers to meet other youth from around the state who volunteer with Teen Court. This event usually involves 150-160 teen volunteers and chaperones.
The NCTCA Long Range Plan for 2006-2010 has five goals that the organization is working to accomplish:
To provide strong leadership and positive management techniques to allow the Association to fulfill its Purpose and best serve its membership
Strong communication must be a priority to enable the NCTCA to fulfill its vision; it must be practiced both internally and externally to allow the Association to have a reputable impact on both its members and the public
Develop a strong marketing plan for Teen Courts using print, radio, Internet, and television to allow the public and government entities to understand the true impact of the work Teen Courts are doing
Identify resources (governmental grants, foundation grants, civic groups, United Way agencies, individual donor campaigns, in-kind, etc.) to assist with funding resources for NCTCA and its local members
Be conscious of internal protocol and best practices to allow NCTCA to be a leader among organizations involving members from multiple local programs
The Association has developed committees that operate separate from the NCTCA meetings to pursue the work involved to allow the Association to meet these goals.
The ultimate goal is to assure that North Carolina’s local Teen Court programs operate under the policies set forth by the Department of Juvenile Justice, establish and measure outcomes for their programs, and provide quality programming for both the juvenile offenders served and the teen volunteers involved in service to the local programs.