Reconnect for Life addresses the Maryland Child Wellbeing Result of Families are Safe and Economically Stable by working intensively with opportunity youth (young adults between the ages of 16 and 24 who are not working and are not enrolled in school) and their families to meet basic needs, reengage with education or work opportunities, and coordinate a two-generation approach among agencies and partners.
Reconnect for Life is a strategy being implemented in Kent County to help reduce the rate of unemployed youth. The program engages with all relevant partners to contribute to the effort of connecting young people to education and employment opportunities. Partners meet quarterly to build a two-generation approach for opportunity youth in Kent County.
In FY20 About Child Trauma employs one full time program manager to identify and actively engage opportunity youth. The Kent Family Center employs .32 of their Service Coordinator to provide case management services for opportunity youth. The program manager, case manager, and supervisory staff at Kent Family Center and About Child Trauma and supporting staff practice the following evidence-based program components:
- Assessing actuarial risk and needs: Using the crisis to thrive tool, the program staff and partners can assess over time the whole person and the whole family as necessary for a two-generation approach.
- Enhancing intrinsic motivation: The Reconnect for Life program manager builds rapport with opportunity youth through consistency, constant checking in, and establishing relationships that are unaffected by a youth’s sudden “dropping out’ of activities. The program provides encouragement and opportunity to start again.
- Targeted intervention: This program only serves Opportunity youth in Kent County.
- Engaging ongoing support in natural communities: The program manager meets youth on the streets and in their homes to build relationships and best support them in connecting with local resources and services. The program staff works with partners to custom tailor activities to meet the needs and interests of the enrolled youth. For example, stage-based course work at convenient locations, or job mentoring opportunities.