GIVING TROUBLED TEENS DIRECTION
June 21, 2016
We believe that by providing guidance to children who are in trouble will help keep them in school and improve relationships in their home.
Because of your support we are able to fund the Juvenile Diversion and Truancy Prevention Program operated by Family Services & Children’s Aid. The program develops a plan unique to each at-risk youth. These plans help kids deal with their emotions, relationships at home, obstacles that prevent them from succeeding in school and the list goes on and on. Hundreds of kids go through the program each year, James is just one of their many success stories.
James was 13 and was considered a first time offender for assault. Instead of going through the legal system and facing some sort of punishment, he was referred to the Diversion Program. The first thing that happened was an “Intake”. That’s the technical term but in reality, it is simply someone who cares, who listens and finds out what is at the root of this young man’s problems. By simply asking questions and listening to James, they learned he was dealing with A LOT of issues. At 13 he should be playing sports, video games and having friends over. Instead, James was doing drugs, getting beat up by his brother and he wasn’t going to school because he didn’t like it. His mom was never home because of work and his dad…what dad? His mom she said he is an angry kid, always fighting and challenging her rules.
Now that his issues were identified, the Diversion Program tailored a plan for James. First they addressed his drug use by referring him to substance abuse program. James received counseling that helped him deal with his emotions in positive ways. Counselors also helped with his relationship with his brother and his mother. It took some time but James learned how to deal with the stress in his life; he didn’t depend on drugs for the escape. He was making better choices; he was learning how to communicate what he was feeling instead of acting out. He was developing a sense of worth. James learned how to like himself.
The technical term is “Program Completion” but really they changed his life. His mother said they have a better relationship. James and his brother no longer fight. James is attending school like any regular kid does. This young man will succeed.
One year after completing the program 100% of the kids attend school regularly, 100% will not have further involvement with the court system, 93% of the parents report their children have better behavior.