Keeping Kids on the Right Track The Children's Aid Society's Juvenile Justice Programs
“Treat people as if they were what they ought to be, and you help them become what they are capable of becoming." – Goethe
In New York, more than 2000 teens are released each year from incarceration within the juvenile justice system. These troubled young men and women face the formidable challenge of re-entering the community. Most of these kids have been disappointed by adults throughout their young lives, so “trust” is something that doesn’t come easily for them. Many are simply hopeless, angry and lost, having been failed by the system and people who were entrusted with their care.
At The Children’s Aid Society in NYC, we understand their plight and employ a holistic approach to providing these youths with the tools to help them develop into healthy, productive adults.
Our innovative Juvenile Justice Programs, under the skilled direction of Ana Bermúdez, focus on the key concept of helping each youth form a trusting, lasting relationship with an adult outside the family. The relationship with their “Life Coach” is critical, as is the hope and confidence they gain by knowing that, at the Children’s Aid, we will always be there for them – no matter what. No expiration date.
Through programs like Community Re-Entry, Neighborhood Youth Employment Program and PINS (Persons in Need of Supervision), the Children’s Aid Society’s unique approach builds onthe strengths of these young people, encouraging them to create a positive plan for success. Our Educational Support and Functional Family Therapy programs are fundamental to helping kids get back on track and reconnect with their families. Our strengths-based approach does work. These formerly disengaged youths become engaged, and as they transition into adulthood they return for guidance or just to keep in touch. Many have even gone on to work in the juvenile justice system – their way of giving back.
"Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement. Nothing can be done without hope and confidence." — Hellen Keller