The Tom Roy Youth Guidance Home is a long-term group home that serves young people aging out of foster care without an available permanent family, or a family needing help with their child emancipating. The program offers older adolescents training and support to successfully transition into adulthood and, in many cases, exit successfully out of child protective services, youth court or correctional services. The issues these young people face include failure to find permanence in a family, chemical abuse, emotional turmoil or incarceration.
- Continue many of the approaches used in previous successful placements
- Focus on the youth graduating high school or earning a GED, developing effective communication skills, learning about personal finances, understanding available resources, having positive employment experiences and enjoying constructive leisure activities
- Develop a support system for the youth as they move to independence
- Locate in a neighborhood, close to community resources, public transportation and employment opportunities and provide a family-like living environment
- Provide living skill development featuring a curriculum and delivered in groups, classroom-type settings or one-on-one mentoring
- Have access to youth employment programs, private employment opportunities, work placement agencies and evaluation of career interest for work-development opportunities
- Provide a structured daily program, including school, educational and recreational activities along with a graduated privilege system that teaches social skills, encourages positive behavior and advocates personal responsibility
- Access community services, including education, employment, recreation, culture, therapy and health care
- Be culturally competent and focus on cultural identity development by giving each youth a multi-ethnic identity assessment and individual goals added to their case plans
- Ensure safety for the youth and those around him or her
- Provide individual counseling and groups that focus on skill development and communications
- Have a Program Director who’s a master level social worker responsible for leading the program and staff and developing individual case plans
- Support a committed, caring and well-trained line staff who work in a 1:4 staff-to-youth ratio and are with youth 24 hours a day
- Provide a Home Manager who manages the day-to-day functioning of the home to ensure a home-like environment
This article especially focuses on adolescents in a transition stage. Although it does not focus on teens who have gone through surgery, it examines important social, emotional, and forward-thinking goals for teens who are unsure of their future. It also points out the importance of routines and independence for developing young adults.