The East Bay Agency for Children in Oakland, CA, developed the Youth Empowerment Services Program in an effort to support youth transitioning out of juvenile detention facilities, as well as work with at-risk youth to prevent juvenile justice involvement. The program’s goals are to promote consistent school attendance and youth goal development and to provide positive role models for participating youth.
The Youth Empowerment Services Program has two main components: in the first, mental health clinicians work with youth at three high schools that serve high risk youth who are at risk of dropout and juvenile justice involvement. In this component, clinicians provide individual, group, and family therapy to students based on the recognition that mental health services are often sorely lacking in the juvenile justice setting. In the second component, youth transitioning out of juvenile facilities are provided with case management services. Case managers work with youth and their families and provide support in issues of daily living, housing, education, and job development, as well as other areas of need.