Support, Structure, Inspiration
Our Youth Advocacy program focuses on the social, cultural, and academic development of our children in shelter from age birth to 18. Using the Trauma-Informed Care model, age-appropriate activities are developed and implemented with the children so that each child has one on one time with our youth advocates. After school tutoring, field trips and group activities are offered for children in shelter while can parent is focusing on his/her safety planning, emotional needs, and goals.
The Youth Advocacy room offers an area for free play with puzzles, games, and arts and crafts. We also offer a toddler room and teen room, separate from the free play area. With an abundance of toys available, toddlers grow their imagination while learning how to play with other children their age. Another room used frequently is our Teen Room. This offers a safe place for teens in shelter to work on computers and play video games. Allowing teens to have their own safe space in shelter provides them with a space to develop relationships with other teens they may be able to relate to and support one another.
When children are entering shelter their world is in chaos. In order to help alleviate some potential stress on the children, our youth advocates help with school needs such as school transportation, supplies, and uniforms. While in shelter, children are able to attend the school they are currently enrolled in. Our Youth Advocates make transportation arrangements so that the child is picked up and dropped off at the shelter and does not miss school once they have entered shelter. We are also able to assist in referrals that help to provide school uniforms.
An example of a typical week might be: