Youth Connections (Frederick County FY18 and beyond - Annual)

Program Summary

This program through Family Partnership of Frederick County will identify, outreach and recruit disconnected youth between the ages of 16 to 24, who are neither in school nor employed. Case management staff will create individualized goal plans with youth. All youth will be directly engaged with education and/or employment activities including community based internships.

Target Population

Disconnected youth

Story Behind the Curve

FY19

Challenges with youth obtaining a job or internship include:

  • 33% of the students were opened too late (May or June) in the FY for employment outcomes to be realized, transitioned to WIOA and/or ended program participation
  • 11% of the students
    • demonstrated difficulty with time management related to seeking employment
    • did not have the minimum level of education or soft skills necessary for desired employment and/or
    • had mental/behavior/substance use disorders or had other challenges that barred them from working to connect with formal employment
  • One (2%) returning student maintained employment that was counted as a positive outcome in FY18

FY18

•    FP has a long history providing youth services and extensive community collaborations. YC was able to begin on July 1, 2017, using existing staff until new staff were hired. 
•    The program provided presentations to community groups, such as FCPS, DJS, LMB, Lead 4 Life, MHA, DSS, and LCT.  Family Partnership has also produced a video that highlighted our Youth Services for recruitment.  
•    FP has a strong partnership with FCC who provides our Adult Ed. services.  
•    FP has a seasoned employment instructor who has many years of experience working with the youth population and connecting them to employment and/or internships.  He also works closely with the youth team to ensure the youth have the support and soft skills needed to be successful in employment and/or internship.   
•    All FP staff have received basic training on Adverse Childhood Experiences.  Several staff have attended additional training focused on ACE and how trauma effects the brain.  FP completed an agency self-assessment process to evaluate where we are with providing trauma informed care within our program.  In FY19, staff will begin analyzing the results and strategizing how to improve our program and services.  Participants have information about what ACEs are, how these experiences can affect them, and how to develop stress management and coping skills during workshops provided at FP.  

 

Partners

•    FCC – Frederick County’s Adult Education vendor -provides ESL and GED instructors as well as a Family Literacy Coordinator at FP.  Youth also have access to FCC’s Adult Services and the training and trade programs at the Monroe Center.  
•    Workforce Services – provides funding for education and employment services, as well as supportive services, training, and paid internships.  They refer potential youth to us who need additional support through education or case management.  YC refers youth, young adults, and their parents/family members to Workforce Services for their youth and adult employment services. 
•    Maryland Family Network – provides FP with funding for our family support center program.  This funding allows us to provide 2 generational services to parents (including adolescent parents) and their young children.  These services include: adult education, employment, parent education, child development care for children under 4, service coordination, health education, leadership skill development, and transportation.  
•    FCPS – provides referrals, access to Virtual School for parenting youth and collaborates with YC case managers when needed for individual students. 
•    DSS – works with foster care youth and families with youth/young adults.  DSS workers frequently refer youth and young adults to the program.  
•    DJS – provides referrals to the program and support to youth receiving services at both DJS and YC. 
•    Housing Authority – refers youth from their housing communities who are not in school or need employment.  The Housing Authority staff brings the youth for a tour of the program and stays in touch with the case managers to ensure the youth follow through.
•    Business community – Businesses provide mentoring to youth who have little to no work experiences.  
•    Mental Health providers such as – Mental Health Association, Lead 4 Life, Frederick County Mental Health Services,  Behavioral Health Partners, Advanced Counseling, Excel Youth, and Advanced Behavioral Counseling.   FP provides referrals to these organizations for mental health counseling or psychiatric rehabilitation programs but they also refer to FP.
•    YC also has collaborations with other community agencies such as SHIP, COIPP, Advocates for Homeless Families, Faith House, Infants and Toddlers, Healthy Families, Frederick County Health Dept., Community Action Agency, and Judy Center.  FP staff makes referrals to these agencies and they make referrals to FP as well.  

 

What Works

FY19

  • All of the Youth Connections participants served were assigned a case manager who supported their personal educational and other goals and connected them to appropriate resources
  • Youth Connections served 45 Youth served for FY19 compared to the 30 served in FY18
  • 44 Youth were connected to Community Resources
  • 44 Youth (98%) had an education goal and/or attended educational classes weekly

FY18

•    The youth enters an internship or becomes employed.
•    The youth makes education gains (increases CASAS scores, passes a GED READY section, passes a section of the GED test, education gain on GED Academy, earns diploma/GED).
•    The youth enters post-secondary classes or training.

 

Action Plan

FY19

  • YC will review the dual enrollment process in Fy20 to determine if all students should be placed on both education and employment tracks or if some youth should be solely focused on education with soft skills training prior to being placed on the formal employment track.

  • YC will implement individualized 1 on 1 jobs and career information as a supplement to the current jobs and career group workshops.

  • YC will implement more individualized 1 on 1 time management/life management sessions with youth to assist with education/employment/home life balance.

FY18

Program staff plan to:

•    Maintaining youth engagement and fostering positive relationships between youth and their case managers and other staff.
•    Ensure FP staff provides information about YC to agencies who potentially serve disconnected youth and communities where these disconnected youth may live or hang out.
•    Ensure that staff uses the trauma informed approach with all youth.
•    Youth receive intensive key soft skill training.
•    Staff assists youth with removing barriers such as (reliable transportation, child care, MD ID or other documentation, work clothes/shoes, money to take the GED test, necessary training. 
•    Staff provides constant motivation, encouragement, support, confidence building, mentoring, and opportunities so the youth can see possibilities and the career paths they can take.
•    Staff assists youth to set achievable/short term goals and holding them accountable to the goals and also celebrating their successes.
•    Provide youth with flexible paths to work on their GED – flexible schedule, safe space, computer assisted learning, one on one tutoring, take home packets, access to online learning on and offsite, etc.
•    Provide youth with opportunities and guidance to complete career assessments, resumes, job applications, mock interviews, etc.  
•    Ensure youth are aware of community resources.
•    Adjust measures to include all “after high school” education/employment/training opportunities that youth engage in. 

 

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