Children and Youth (infants - 19 years.)
Hand in Hand is a supervised visitation and safe exchange program. It follows the guidelines set forth by the International Supervised Visitation Network. The program provides the opportunity for children to maintain relationships with both parents. The program offers a safe and neutral setting supervised by trained staff. The physical setting is equipped with developmentally appropriate play equipment in a spacious room. All visits are directly supervised, one family at a time. The program follows procedures that minimize risks to the child. We are able to lessen the conflict between parents by conveying to the custodial parents some of the positive behaviors demonstrated by the non-custodial parent within a visit. Hand in Hand serves the 13th Judicial Court by providing a service that the judge may order in a high conflict divorce case or a case involving mistreatment of a child.
Use of the program has increased over the last 7 years. Many parents have graduated to exchanges or unsupervised visitation. We consider this a successful closure of services. The program has become increasingly self sufficient in that parents are funding a larger portion of the cost of the service each year.
Adolescents/Youth (13-19 years)
Lesbians, Gays, Bisexuals, Transgender
People/Families with of People with Developmental Disabilities
Poor, Economically Disadvantaged, Indigent
Game Plan for Success was a community based mentor program that began in 2009. The program matched at-risk youth in junior high and high school with adult mentors from the community. During that that time they were asked to have 8-10 hours of contact per month. This included a monthly workshop where both the mentors and youth came together as a community to discuss topics pertinent to raising the skill level of the youth around relationship building, communication, awareness of healthy sexuality, conflict resolution, and social skills. The topics assisted the youth and mentors to find success in relationships in school, at home, and at work. Youth and mentors also participated in volunteer activities. In 2015, Game Plan For Success transitioned to a youth club model. Wyman Teen Outreach Program and Smart Girls/Smart Guys youth clubs began meeting weekly after school and include a free, healthy meal and snacks. Wyman TOP is a nine month program that engages high school students in a minimum of 20 hours of community service learning annually and weekly meetings using TOP's Changing Scenes curriculum, with a goal of reducing rates of teen pregnancy, course failure, and academic suspension. Youth in the program begin to reveal leadership skills and the ability to envision perspectives other than their own. They demonstrate an openness to new perspectives and are able to share their own perspectives without fear of judgement. Smart Girl/Smart Guy is a prevention and enrichment program designed to engage youth in activities that develop their social-emotional skills. The curriculum gives teens the chance to think about and discuss the challenges they encounter and to formulate and practice appropriate and productive responses. Through this process, participation nurtures social-emotional intelligence and critical thinking skills - qualities proven to lead to success in life.
All students have remained in school. All of the students have achieved comfort in speaking in front of their group of facilitators, mentors, and peers. Students have volunteered for outside projects and/or participated in extracurricular activities. Youth have demonstrated the ability to resolve conflicts within the community of Game Plan for Success youth and have worked collectively to prepare and complete community service projects each year. Teens report a higher level of confidence in self-reflection, discussion, and personal growth.
Parent Education consists of quarterly, 12 to 14 week classes for parents of biological, adoptive, and stepchildren. Classes have waiting lists. The classes utilize Caring Dads curriculum supplemented by Nurturing Parents curriculum, First Five Years curriculum, and Incredible Years curriculum-which are offered three times a year. All classes are supported by a free meal and child care. A Circle of Grandparents group supports grandparents raising grandchildren. Circles are supported by speakers on relevant topics and refreshments.
Two parent groups have spun off of our Incredible Years classes. They have continued to support each other by exchanging child care, transportation, and emotional support and plan family outings together. They promote our classes to other parents. AAPI results have shown movement to lower risk attitudes about parenting. Referrals are increasing and classes have waiting lists. Churches see value in this work and express their support by providing meals to encourage good attendance in classes.