A closer look at CYS' array of programs
Page 5 Behavioral Health Integrated Counseling Division (ICD), Multi-Systemic Therapy (MST), Transitional Age Youth (TAY) CYS has been a licensed community mental health agency for three years. Multi-systemic Therapy was CYS’ first mental health program, launching in early 2013 with four therapists and one director. In 2015, CYS saw the Integrated Counseling Division grow to 41 staff, including therapists, care coordinators, youth and parent partners, psychiatry, and administrative staff. MST MST is an evidence-based program with intensive home-, school- and communitybased services to youth and their families challenged with family conflict, school (behavioral and academic), juvenile delinquency, mental health, substance abuse and those in the foster care system. In 2015, MST provided services to more than 60 families. The outcomes (MST evaluations provided by the University of Washington) for MST are statistically significant in terms of reducing total difficulties for the youth. 88 percent of youth were in school and at home following MST; 78 percent had no additional arrests; 90 percent of the families demonstrated improved parent-child relationships and improved networks of support. Transitional Age Youth Wraparound with Intensive Services (TAY/WISe) CYS became a demonstration site for TAY/WISe in 2014 based on a lawsuit against Washington State related to youth whose high needs were not being addressed in traditional community mental health agencies. TAY/WISe offers therapy and peer counseling that is home, school and community based. TAY/WISe therapists are available 24/7 to help youth create a personal treatment plan. TAY/WISe uses Managing and Adapting Practices, and evidence-based practice. In 2015, CYS’ TAY/WISe program provided services to 114 youth. A Life in Progress: SHANELLE Shanelle Berry knows a lot about CYS programs, after being taken to Haven House at the age of 12. Now 20, Shanelle became part of the state foster care system before coming to CYS’ Therapeutic Foster Care at the age of 15. “I had SERIOUS problems with any authority. I’d get in fights, mostly verbal but sometimes even physical, with people a lot. I didn’t want to do what people wanted. I had a major attitude,” said Shanelle, who took part in The BRIDGE music program from the beginning and now mentors other young people in it. She credits her CYS foster care case manager for her attitude shift. “She and I were driving in the car and talking. It was like I finally GOT IT. I realized it was time to grow up and that I had the power to change my life.” Shanelle has visited an array of social services agencies, but holds CYS in a special place. “You guys are a lot nicer. People who go into shelters and agencies realize pretty quickly you can be treated like dirt. People at CYS are more respectful, understanding. . . That makes a big difference.” Shanelle, now in CYS Transitional Housing, graduated from Yelm High School on time. She’s working and hopes to attend The Evergreen State College to study music through their audio engineering program. Juvenile Justice Diversion, Juvenile Court and Detention Transitions DIVERSION Juvenile Diversion was CYS’ first program, dating back nearly 40 years. It is based on research showing that youth who are held accountable for their actions by turning a “wrong” to a “right” make lasting changes, rather than those who are merely punished. In Diversion, youth who are 8 to 17 and charged with misdemeanors and Class C felonies meet with volunteer Community Accountability Boards, which decide on appropriate restorative justice consequences. In 2015, almost 300 young people entered the program and 94 percent finished successfully. JUVENILE COURT AND DETENTION TRANSITIONS (JCDT) JCDT is a collaboration between the Juvenile Courts and detention facilities of Mason and Thurston counties, the Thurston Mason Regional Support Network (RSN), and CYS. JCDT is designed to provide services to detained youth experiencing mental-health challenges. JCDT assists with discharge planning from detention facilities to link youth and their families to community-based resources. The goal is to reduce recidivism by connecting youth with services to address mental-health needs. 160 youth were served in 2015. You Don’t Know Me you see that I laugh you see that I’m shy but you don’t know me you would know me if you knew how hard it is to hold back the tears in my eyes you knew how I feel sometimes when I cry I drown you see that I’m gone you see that I’m nowhere around but you don’t know me you would know me if you knew how I fight you knew how I scream you knew how I dream By Melanie, 14 InkWell poet and Haven House resident The bulk of the offenses brought before CYS Diversion involves assault, theft or marijuana-related offenses. Pro-Social Programs 91% of those seen in CYS Diversion have no prior criminal offenses. Page 6 Best practices for helping youth develop coping strategies include building relationships with caring adults, writing/talking about experiences, and becoming involved in pro-social activities that build self-esteem, self-confidence, and leadership skills. Researchers have found that pro-social activities, particularly activities conducted with peers and trusted adults, is crucial in developing social skills, self-esteem and confidence, and coping strategies in youth. Most of our participants have experienced significant trauma during their formative years, which has affected their emotional growth. Providing them with pro-social activities boosts their emotional development. The Bridge, an eight-week workshop, provides at-risk youth, ages 14 to 22, a place where they can create, rehearse, record and perform their individual stories in musical (hip hop/rap) form. By expressing feelings through writing and publically performing hip hop/rap pieces, at-risk, vulnerable youth move their lives in a positive direction through increased self-esteem and self-confidence, and a reduction in aggression and anti-social behavior. 300 youth were served in 2015. InkWell, a new effort in 2015, uses writing and poetry to help youth express feelings, process trauma and move forward in their lives. Trained volunteers and staff use methods based on the highly successful Pongo writing program that began in Seattle 20 years ago. It served 35 youth in 2015.
Page 7 Employment-Education CareerTrek, YouthBuild, GRAVITY, AmeriCorps CAREERTREK The CareerTrek program, launched 35 years ago, provides career planning and job-skills training to lowincome young people. Through one-on-one time with a case manager, they learn how to be successful in the workplace. 190 young people received help with jobs and schooling in 2015. YOUTHBUILD High school dropouts get a chance at earning their GED or high school diploma through the federally funded YouthBuild program. In addition, they learn job skills through work in the construction trade. In 2015, 32 were in follow-up status and 30 were enrolled. A Life in Progress: CLARA It’s been several years since Clara Day first came to CYS. She entered the building because she’d been arrested and had a meeting with the Diversion Program. It struck her as amazing then that the volunteers on the other side of the table were compassionate and that they seemed to realize she was smart, competent and able to do better. Clara, now 21, says that moment was imprinted on her and became a turning point. Though she had dropped out of school, and had numerous hurdles of attitude and circumstance to get over, she enrolled in the CYS YouthBuild program. Her life began to change for the better. Clara excelled in school, graduated high school and has been working hard at various jobs in the last year or so. She plans to return to South Puget Sound Community College in fall 2016 and eventually wants to pursue a career in environmental science. GRAVITY HIGH SCHOOL CYS operates this program along with Educational School District 113 to help high school dropouts earn their GED or diploma. Vocational and educational options are also explored. 239 youth were served, and 114 got their GEDs. AMERICORPS The 20 members of AmeriCorps serve in local schools and social service agencies throughout Thurston County, 20 sites in all. Five members were serving served a second year. They provide tutoring and mentoring, in addition to guiding social skill-building activities. The 20 AmeriCorps members in 2015 served 680 youth and families throughout Thurston County, with 92% of the youth served showing improvement in social competence and positive development. Nearly 95% of the YouthBuild participants exited the program to employment or postsecondary education in 2015. Our Annual Events: Join Us! Have a Heart for Kids Breakfast: Held in mid-February to early March each year, this inspirational morning provides an opportunity to hear our youth tell their own poignant stories. This fundraiser brings in crucial monies to help us fill needs that grants and other funding sources do not reach. Brighter Futures Trick or Trot Fun Run: Held in October, this family fun event is a great chance to show off your costumes while enjoying a beautiful 5-kilometer course and an after party with loads of seasonal fun. Annual Youth and Community Awards: Held in late spring, this luncheon showcases the hard work of key youth, who receive scholarships or stipends to help them achieve their goals. CYS program coverage ‘CYS is the best example of public and private dollars being used to improve the lives and future of our young people.’ — Linda W. Lamb, volunteer and board member Thurston Pierce Lewis Mason Grays Harbor Kitsap Pacific Wahkiakum Cowlitz Clark Skamania Clallam Jefferson Page 8 ‘I give to CYS because it is the smartest investment I can make to strengthen my community. - Greg Rhodes, attorney