La Casa de Don Pedro provides a variety of specialized programs for adolescents within the context of a safe and culturally appropriate environment. The intent of our programs is to encourage youth to develop their interests and leadership skills while helping them address issues and problems they might experience during the adolescent years. We understand that adolescents may face many challenges and these can be simple as well as complex. One of the best options for adolescence youth is to engage them in constructive activities that they are interested in. This is a fundamental element of our adolescent programming.
For more troubled youth their challenges can cause emotional, physical and academic concerns. Using a holistic and comprehensive approach La Casa employs methodologies that include private and family counseling, peer group workshops and other techniques to reach the adolescence and work through the issues or concerns. Our trained and experienced staff in a variety of fields allows us to effectively support, diagnose and address the range of challenges faced by our youth.
A select group of teenagers are chosen to participate in La Casa de Don Pedro’s “Newark Youth Leadership Program.” These are adolescents who demonstrate a commitment or hold the promise of excelling and providing leadership in academic or in civic areas of life.
La Casa provides a safe and secure environment for the youth to explore life experiences by engaging in counselor directed peer discussions, participating in civic activities as well as being supported to achieve academic success. The youth are offered structured opportunities to come to La Casa’s Teen Center as well as encouraged to just “drop in.” Our professional staff members provide individual and group dialogue as well as counseling, and seek out consultation with the parents and school personnel to ensure all are supportive of the adolescent’s activities and ambitions.
Youth participate in leadership venues within and outside of La Casa, such as “Stand & Deliver”, a public speaking program; the City of Newark’s Youth Leadership Council, and Youth Court. In order to nurture the interests of the youngsters, they also participate in a range of specialized program activities such as artistic expression, college preparation and visits, as well as afterschool and summer employment and internships.
This counseling program offers teens ages 13-17 one-on-one counseling and deals with at risk adolescents often referred to La Casa de Don Pedro by their high schools, hospitals, other social service agencies, or concerned parents. Upon entering the program the youth and family are subject to an intake assessment and are assisted in developing a plan of action that deals with the presenting problem, as well as underlining issues that are revealed during the session or subsequently.
Both the youngster and the parents commit to regular counseling sessions as individuals, as a family and as part of larger group sessions. The program also provides non-clinical activities that encourage inter-generational interactions. In order to encourage inclusion, the youth are integrated into regular afterschool and summer programs groups.
Children are at times confronted with the cold negative reality of poverty and crime in urban American life. Some find themselves before the juvenile justice system and are provided an opportunity to turn around by attending supervised activities with La Casa de Don Pedro.
Court assigned youth are required to attend individual and group activities and are subject to random visits at school and home. Counseling opportunities are provided to the youth and family members in private and open sessions. La Casa provides reporting and recommendations to the Juvenile Courts as to adherence to court mandated activities and progress made to achieve positive behavior.
As part of the program the youngsters are offered program activities that interest them as well as being provided opportunities to engage in social service or civic volunteer activities.
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