Youth Development

What we do!

Our programs are available throughout Gallatin, Park, and Meagher counties. These programs are designed with a youth empowerment mindset.  We take an active approach giving youth the tools to create achievable goals.  By providing work experience, focused direction, and inspiration for success, we have the knowledge and resources to help navigate youth into adulthood.

HRDC youth clients typically have certain barriers that qualify them for our programs. Our youth are between the ages of 14-24 and have one or more of the following barriers: homelessness, pregnant and/or parenting, an individual with a disability, is subject to the juvenile or adult justice system, are in foster care, or requires additional assistance to enter or complete an educational program, or to secure/hold employment.

 

Program Elements for our Youth Workforce Program (WIOA):

This program is designed to improve the long-term job prospects of young people by providing basic skills, work readiness skills, occupational training, and inspire citizenship. We collaborate with local communities to establish partnerships, bring together local training providers, schools, community-based organizations, and other stakeholders. HRDC staff provide case management and supportive services to prepare youth to obtain educational goals and successfully sustain themselves through career fulfillment. Ultimately, we believe the power for youth to change their path lies within them.

Services we provide:

  • Career Exploration and Planning
  • Academic Support
  • Basic Employment Skills Training
  • Occupational Training
  • Work Experience in a Field of Interest
  • Leadership Development Activities
  • Support Services
  • Financial Literacy
  • Entrepreneurial Skills Training
  • Independent Living Skills
  • Guidance and Advocacy
  • Support and Mentorship

Program Elements for Chafee Foster Care Independence Program (CHAFEE):

HRDC’s Youth Development provides CHAFEE to Gallatin, Park, and Meagher counties.  CHAFEE services gives eligible foster youth support while in foster care and continues to provide assistance when youth transfer into our community.

  • Academic Support
  • Life skills
  • Career Exploration and Planning
  • Vocational Training
  • Financial Assistance and Budgeting
  • Job Placement and Retention
  • Substance Abuse Prevention
  • Preventative Health Activities
  • ETV Scholarship
  • Post-Secondary Preparation
  • Transition to Self-Sufficiency

National Statistics:

415,129 children were in foster care on September 30th, 2014, a 4% increase from 2012

264,746 children entered care – that translates to a child entering care every two minutes in the United States

107,918 children waiting to be adopted on September 30th, 2014

60,898 children waiting to be adopted whose parental rights (for all living parents) were terminated

50,644 children adopted with public child welfare agency involvement

All national statistics provided by (Foster Club, 2016)

*Referrals to the program are made through Child and Family Service. HRDC’s staff can assist in determining if a youth is eligible.

Youth Homelessness:

HRDC opened, Blueprint, a homeless youth home in November, 2015. We created a safe and healthy living environment for our community’s youth. We believe in providing a place for emerging adults to grow and thrive. We work with youth on developing weekly goals and take an approach where youth assist in creating our service structure. It is important for us to truly listen to what our youth have to say and tune in to their passions.

*Please contact Jeremy Alcoke or Jackie Haines for more information on the program and referral process.

Myths about youth homelessness

Myth – Homeless youth chose to live on the streets.

  • Fact – Many homeless youth leave home after years of physical abuse, sexual abuse, strained relationships, addiction of a family member, and parental neglect. Disruptive family conditions are the main reasons youth become homeless.
  • Nationally, 20-40% of homeless youth identify as LESBIAN, GAY, BISEXUAL, and TRANSGENDER OR QUESTIONING.

Myth – We do not have homeless youth within our community.

  • Fact – Last year there were over 100 hundred youth in the Bozeman school district, K-12, that experienced homelessness. In 2015, 40% of HRDC Youth Development participants experienced homelessness. Homeless youth sleep in cars or couch surf, which is living on a friend’s or relative’s couch. Frequently, their parents are homeless or their home situation is abusive.
  • Nationally, one in every 30 children experience homelessness (National Center on Family Homelessness)

Our Youth Home’s Style:

Create a paradigm shift about homeless youth that encourages organizations, schools, and our community to focus on providing the basic supports and opportunities needed to promote optimal mental and physical health. We are grateful to our community partners that make providing wrap-around support possible.

How do we make our style happen:
1. Access to emotional and physically safe environments (HRDC Youth Home)
2. Create consistent healthy relationships, both peer and with adults
3. Opportunities to participate (decision making power)
4. Opportunities to contribute and know the community
5. Opportunities to build skills in engaging and challenging ways

Without healthy adult relationships, vulnerable youth are often subject to the higher risk of alcoholism, drug use, STD’s, diabetes, heart disease, cancer, a stroke, mental illnesses, suicide attempts, and more. Protective factors are seen as “characteristics associated with a lower likelihood of negative outcomes or that reduce a risk factor’s impact” and include an individual’s income level, positive self-image, social competence, peer group, and employment status (SAMHSA, 2016).

Never Underestimate the Power of Youth. 

References:

National Center of Family Homelessness. (2014). American Institutes for Research. Retrieved from http://www.air.org/center/national-center-family-homelessness

Statistics on Foster Care. (2016) Foster Club. Retrieved from https://www.fosterclub.com/article/statistics-foster-care

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. (2016). Prevention and behavioral health. Adverse Childhood           Experiences. Retrieved from https://www.samhsa.gov/capt/practicing-effective-prevention/prevention-behavioral-health/adverse-childhood-experiences

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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