Eckerd Youth Alternatives Community

by Terry Watson | November 13th, 2013

kids picThe Eckerd Youth Alternatives Community based services in Greensboro is designed to provide safe, and quality in-home services, in conjunction with transition and family reunification services. Greensboro’s community intervention counselors provide a positive learning environment for both youth and their families. While working to develop individual and family growth, community intervention counselors server as mentors actively helping parents to increase their knowledge of themselves and their children.

Their target population are high risk boys and girls, ages 13 to 17, and their families who are referred by North Carolina Department of Public Safety/ Division of Juvenile Justice as a dispositional alternative and reside in Alamance, Caswell, Chatham, Durham, Guilford, Orange, Person, Randolph, and Rockingham counties.

Eckerd’s community-based services in Greensboro, North Carolina, are designed to address the emotional and behavioral needs of the youth and their families as a juvenile justice dispositional alternative. Youth are referred in the following situations: (1) to maintain youth in their communities as a dispositional alternative to residential placement; (2) to maintain youth in their community while they await residential placement; (3) to provide support and services to the family while the youth is receiving treatment in a residential placement; and (4) to provide transitional services for youth returning to their home communities from a residential placement. Part of Eckerd’s new community-based delivery system in North Carolina to rehabilitate youth and improve outcomes, these services are family-focused, highly-effective, cost-efficient and evidence-based. Individualized treatment plans include wrap-around services, evidence-based interventions, and family support through a network of community resources designed to strengthen the family unit and promote eventual self-sufficiency and last an average of six months. Staff is trained in evidence-based practices and includes a Community Intervention Manager, Licensed Clinical Specialist and four Community Intervention Counselors who maintain an average caseload of 12 youth.

Clinical Treatment Methodology
Our community based services are committed to providing quality care to all youth. The values that serve as a foundation for these services include treating youth with unconditional positive regard, acknowledging that families are partners in treatment, and holding ourselves accountable to superior outcomes. It is our belief that each youth deserves a second chance. With these foundational beliefs, it is necessary that community based staff be knowledgeable in a variety of treatment methodologies, considering the diverse needs, ages, and histories of children referred to us by North Carolina Department of Public Safety/ Division of Juvenile Justice. Our community base service prides itself on individualizing the treatment of care for every youth, understanding that not every youth is alike. We have found that evidence based practices provide the best outcomes for the families that we serve.

  • Therapeutic Crisis Intervention
    Therapeutic Crisis Intervention is a crisis prevention and intervention model. It provides youth care workers the knowledge and ability to effectively manage and de-escalate acute crisis, reduce potential and actual injury to children and staff, and develop learning circle within an organization.
  • Motivational Interviewing
    Motivational Interviewing is an evidence-based practice which allows the human service professional the opportunity to provide information and guidance in a way that elicits and reinforces the youth’s movement towards change. It is a skill that uses open-ended questions, affirmations of the client’s strengths and sharing effective summaries.
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
    Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is also an evidence-based practice of psychotherapy that emphasizes the important role of thinking in how we feel and what we do. It is based on the idea that our thoughts cause our feelings and behaviors, not external things. The benefit of this is we can change the way we think, in order to feel and act better, even if the situation does not change.
  • Forward Thinking Interactive Journals
    Forward Thinking Interactive Journals are a cognitive-behavioral series that use evidenced based strategies to assist youth involved in the criminal justice system in making positive changes to their thoughts, feelings and behaviors. When the youth apply the information that is presented in the journals, to their own lives, they are able to achieve their goals of responsible living.

Journals include:

  • Reentry planning
  • What got me here
  • Victim awareness
  • Individual change plan
  • Responsible behavior
  • Handling difficult emotions
  • Relationships and communication
  • For parents: Botvin’s Life skills training parent Guide

It is our belief that through specific innovative solutions designed to meet the needs of the youth and families in which we serve that every youth will be successful at gaining a second chance. We also believe that a family is only as strong as its core. Our community intervention counselors are committed to helping families identify their strengths which are their foundations. Utilizing cognitive behavioral therapy, therapeutic crisis intervention, and motivational interviewing, counselors are giving families effective coping skills to build upon their foundation. By partnering with youth and their families Eckerd community based services- Greensboro is working to strengthen families not only today but for years to come.

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