Our intention is to use evidence-based and/or best practices in working with these youth and families. An example of an evidence-based model is Trust-Based Relational Intervention. We currently use this model; staff and volunteers have reported significant improvements in how they relate to the youth and how the youth respond to the intervention model’s strategies
Story of One
One 16-year-old teen girl in our program who has deeply appreciated our program has recruited two of her teen friends to join our program. Her own story is one of domestic violence and drug abuse in the home. Her mother, younger sister and she were in a domestic violence shelter for months. Since leaving there, we have been able to be a social support to this teen, to the point that she is telling her other at-risk friends to join. These are teens who have little to no parental support – in fact some being used by their parents for ill gains. They need social supports to wrap around them.
Triggered by emotions
We recently took the youth to the cinema and this young man (who is triggered by emotions) was quite chatty on the way into town from being picked up in Big Lake. As he came closer to the cinema he shared that the last time he had been at the cinema was with his biological mother 4 years ago. By the time they had arrived at the cinema, this young man had completely shut down emotionally. He was unable to cope with his overwhelming sense of grief and loss. This is the kind of young man we want to reach out more deeply too. He needs additional support. We already have a wonderful relationship with him, and he trusts us immensely, but he is one we identify as needing more intensive, therapeutic support.
We see the need
We see the internal impact caused by drug addictions, mental illness and substance abuse. Poverty also affects the quality of relationships in a home and creates negative belief systems in youth. We see youth with depression, anxiety, and low self-esteem. These youth and their families need as much positive intervention as possible to change their negative belief systems and improve their lives.
“They’ve given me confidence. I have a lot more confidence now. I found a lot more self-love in myself and I’ve found a lot more friends and just being able to be accepted by them without any judgment.”
— Junior Program
“I think their [REACH 907] sole purpose is to help children to help them find their place, to help them know that they’re loved and that they’re wanted.” –
— Teen Program