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Family Reunification: Permanent Connections for Youth and Young Adults

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Presentation on theme: "Family Reunification: Permanent Connections for Youth and Young Adults"— Presentation transcript:

1 Family Reunification: Permanent Connections for Youth and Young Adults
Shawn Sivly, Friends of Youth | Abbi Griffin, YMCA of Greater Seattle Washington State Conference on Ending Homelessness | May 22, 2014

2 VISION Friends of Youth envisions all youth having every opportunity to succeed. MISSION We deliver a broad range of services to youth and their families to improve their emotional stability and self-sufficiency.

3 Client Services Friends of Youth provides services to at-risk youth and homeless young people at 20 sites in 17 cities, primarily in east King County. With 60+ years of experience and national accreditation, we provide safe places and emotional support for youth in challenging circumstances. In FY 2013, Friends of Youth served over 5,100 youth and their families through our three core programs.

4 Three Core Program Areas
Therapeutic residential services, including foster care and emergency shelter care, to youth under age 18. Residential Treatment Services Street outreach, overnight shelter, individual case management, employment and transitional housing programs for homeless youth and young adults throughout East and North King County and South Snohomish County. Homeless Youth Services Mental health counseling, substance abuse treatment, school-based prevention education and parenting programs in Issaquah, Snoqualmie and Riverview School District communities. Youth & Family Services

5 Youth Haven Shelter Shelter provides immediate need for youth in foster care, runaway, homeless and street youth under the age of 18 on the Eastside of King County. 24 hour intake phone to respond to any youth or family needing help. 12 beds of shelter and supportive services for 6 girls and 6 boys (4 beds reserved for RHY and 8 beds reserved Youth and their families receive counseling services and community referrals to assist them in moving to reconciliation. Structured time apart can provide space and time for youth and families needing to make a plan for a safe and stable future.

6 Youth Haven Services Within 24 hours of first contact:
Intake Assessment completed Within 72 Hours: Youth meets with a Master Level Therapeutic Case Manager who completes a Psychosocial Interview and initial Case Goal Plan which includes a domain that addresses family planning/reunification. A Master Level Therapeutic Case Manager contacts the youth parent/s and or legal guardian . A family session is scheduled. Within 5 days: First Family session is completed. Youth can stay from 21 to 30 days. Youth Haven offers 24 hour staff support, a therapeutic environment, structured schedule, rules and expectations, level system, assessments (D/A issues, mental health issues, Independent living skills), weekly individual and family sessions. The sooner you can get a family engaged, the better the outcome of youth returning back home.

7 Causes of Youth Homelessness
Family Conflict Economic Problems Residential Instability These factors define youth homelessness on the Eastside of King County. Intake information on youth entering Friends of Youth shelters parallel data on youth homelessness in King County, the state and the nation. At our Youth Haven emergency shelters, runaway and homeless youth report the following issues at intake: Family Conflict – 41% Eviction – 6% Abuse – 35% Respite – 5% Runaway – 23% Mental Illness – 4% Homelessness – 12% Legal Issues – 2% Substance Abuse – 9%

8 Family Conflict Many young people leave home to escape abusive family situations. According to the UWKC Community Assessment, 17 % to 35% of homeless youth have suffered physical or sexual abuse. Other youth leave home due to parental neglect, where parents under “extreme stress” cannot continue to care for their child or assume that their teen/s are old enough to care for themselves” outside the home. Other family problems that lead to a youth being displaced from their home: youth “come out” or identify as LGBTQ, drugs/alcohol, mental health/emotional issues, economic issues, conflicting personalities, etc.

9 Youth Outcomes Increased sense of safety
Includes goals in areas of the youth’s life surrounding safe and stable housing and immediate, basic needs, including immediate medical needs. Increased sense of well-being Includes goals in the areas of long-term medical/health needs, substance abuse treatment, mental health counseling, and development of coping skills and interpersonal skills. Increased self-sufficiency Includes educational and vocational goals and independent living skills development goals. Increased number of permanent connections with caring adults Includes goals for family counseling and reunification, if appropriate; goals for aftercare treatment with community mental health and substance abuse treatment providers; discharge placement goals for safe and stable housing following shelter exit.

10 Strategies for Engaging Families
Clear, honest, and respectful communication with families, which helps set a foundation for building trust. Commitment to family-centered practice and it’s underlying philosophy and values. Sufficient frequency and length of contact with families, their identified formal and informal supports. A strength-based approach that recognizes and reinforces families capabilities and not just their needs or problems. Shared decision-making and participatory planning which result in mutually agreed-upon goals and plans reflecting both the TCM training and the family’s knowledge of their own situation. Broad-based involvements by both parents, extended family members, informal networks and community supports (Wrap Around Services). Individualized service plans that respond to needs of youth and parent/s Concrete services that meet immediate needs for food, housing, child care, transportation, and other costs, and help communicate to families a strong desire to help. Praise and Recognition of parents who are making life changes that result in safe and permanent living situations for their youth

11 Family-Centered Practice
Identify the family unit as the focus attention. Focus on the needs and welfare of children and youth within the context of their families and communities. Assist the family to strengthen their ability to function together effectively. Provide individualized, culturally responsive, flexible, and relevant services. Link family and youth with comprehensive, diverse, and community-based networks of supports and services.

12 Evidence Based Approaches
Strengths-Based Perspective: Provide a strengths-based perspective in their handling the day-to-day intensive support of our youth. The strengths perspective is based on the belief that individuals possess abilities and inner resources that allow them to cope effectively with life’s challenges. Dialectical Behavior Therapy: The primary goal of DBT is to help youth develop skills (their interpersonal skills to improve their relationships with adults and peers, learn to adapt to new situations, develop coping skills, and increase their capacity to regulate their internal emotions).

13 Mindfulness Skills Pay Attention Be less impulsive Focus Be flexible
Wise Mind (balancing the rational mind over emotional mind) What Skills- What I need to do to be mindful (observe, describe, and Participate) How Skills- Be non-judgmental (Focus on the facts), Be mindful, Effective (focus on what works instead of what doesn’t work).

14 Distress Tolerance Cope with pain and crisis
Skillfully distract yourself Accept Reality ACCEPTS (Activities, Contributing, Comparisons, Emotions, Pushing Away, Thoughts, Sensations Radical Acceptance

15 Interpersonal Effectiveness
How to make a request DEARMAN (Describe, Express, Assert, Reinforce, Mindful, Appear Confident, Negotiate) Building Relationships People Skills GIVE (Gentle, Interested, Validate, Easy manner) Building Self Respect FAST (Fair, No apologies, Stick to Values, Truthful Understanding the feelings of others

16 Emotional Regulation Accepting Emotions Changing emotions
Observing and Describing Emotions People Skills Opposite Action Please (Physical, Eating habits, Avoid mood-altering drug/alcohol, Sleep, Exercise)

17 Problem Solving 5 easy steps in solving a problem
Describing the problem Brain Storm Pros and Cons Evaluate the Results Make a choice and take action 4 options for dealing with any problem

18 Youth Haven Outcomes 17 RHY served (October 2013-April 2014).
11 out of 17 families engaged in family therapy. 16 out of 17 youth exited to safe and stable housing (11 of those youth returned to family). 16 out of 17 youth accomplished 50% of their goals on their case goal plan. 8 out of 11 youth reported that their circumstances. improved within the home. Aftercare was continued with these 8 families.

19 Thank You! On behalf of the homeless and at risk young people who rely on our housing, counseling, employment, shelter, and case management services, thank you!  Resident of New Ground Bothell, Transitional Housing for Homeless Moms and their babies.

20 YMCA Lifelong Family Connections Program
Abbi Griffin Seattle, WA

21 YMCA of Greater Seattle: We are more than a gym
Family Services and Mental Health Strengthen health and safety of youth, families and communities Evidence-based practice Support of natural networks and community partners Provide strengths-based, solutions-focused, culturally competent, individualized crisis support, mental health, permanency services, and training that is costumer- driven Advocates for child healthcare, mental health, and child welfare systems change

22 YMCA Young Adult Services
Youth and Young Adults aging out of foster care and homeless youth up to age 25 Staff support and assistance for education, employment, family connections, housing, financial assistance and life skills Drop-In center resources LFI Affordable Healthcare IDA Youth Housing Connection

23 Program Overview What we do How we do it Where we do it

24 What We Do Former and current foster youth Ages 11-25
Limited to youth and young adults without any supportive adult connections (not counting social service professionals)

25 What We Do: Challenges Family commitment/consistency
Engagement with Department restrictions Adoption Records DSHS records/history

26 What We Do: Successes Youth engagement/enthusiasm Statistics
Partnerships Casey Family Programs United Way of King County Street Youth Ministries Northwest Adoption Exchange DSHS Seneca Center

27 How We Do It: Tools Mobility Map Connectedness Map Connection Bubbles

28 Mobility Map Example

29 Connectedness Map Example

30 Connection Bubbles Example

31 How We Do It: Strategies
Seneca Center Search DSHS Relative Search Unit Public Resources White pages King County Jail Vital Records Social Media Facebook Linked In

32 Where We Do It Everywhere in King County! Coffee shops Restaurants
Libraries Schools 2100 Building

33 Resources Mobility Mapping: s/Res04_MbltyMppng_FlwDgrms.pdf Connectedness Map: O16_OthrFmlyFndngTls.pdf Casey Family Programs-Austin, TX Office: YMCA Webpage: United Way of King County: NIPFC:

34 Questions?

35 Shawn Sivly, Friends of Youth shawn@friendsofyouth
Shawn Sivly, Friends of Youth Abbi Griffin, YMCA of Greater Seattle

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