Kari Harp, MS, is the Associate Executive Director for the Robert F. Kennedy National Resource Center for Juvenile Justice (RFK National Resource Center). Ms. Harp has had the honor of working with the RFK National Resource Center in several roles, supporting its development and growth since its inception. Ms. Harp provides guidance, leadership and consultation to systems, leaders and staff in their goals to improve policies, protocols and practices related to probation reform and dual status youth. Ms. Harp has partnered with the RFK National Resource Center team in the authoring of several written resources including the 2nd Edition of the Probation Systems Review Guidebook. Additionally, she has spearheaded projects such as the development of an innovative trauma-focused graphic and contributed to multiple publications and reports providing recommendations for system improvements focusing equally on areas of need and strength. Ms. Harp seeks to use her knowledge and experience to improve not just the lives of youth within the juvenile justice system, but the dedicated staff and leaders who have focused their careers on serving this population.
Prior to joining the RFK National Resource Center team, Ms. Harp gained extensive experience in system improvement and collaboration while working in the non-profit, youth-serving and government fields. Most recently, she served as the Director of the San Luis Valley Joint Interagency Oversight Group. As Director of this multi-system collaboration, Ms. Harp provided leadership to the inaugural tri-county board in creating a structure for shared decision-making, cost-sharing, and increasing best practices. These best practices included data collection, risk and need screening, family involvement, blended and braided funding, systems of care, and institutionalizing mechanisms to support and protect dual status youth.
Ms. Harp lives in Colorado and earned her B.S. degree in Psychology from Union College and her M.S. degree in Public Policy and Leadership from DePaul University. She comes to this work with a passion to improve the lives of children and youth so that, in the words of Robert F. Kennedy, “every child in this country live(s) as we would want our own children to live.”