DISTRICT HEIGHTS FAMILY & YOUTH SERVICES BUREAU
School Turnaround AmeriCorps State Competitive Direct FY 2013
District Heights Family & Youth Services Bureau (DHFYSB) has been in operation in the City of District Heights, serving the residents of Prince Georges County for almost 10 years. We are mandated by the state of Maryland and certified by the Department of Juvenile Services (DJS) to provide non-residential mental/behavioral health counseling to children, youth and families. We perform this mission through regular and on-going individual, family and group therapy. Within the community, including four middle schools, we partner to provide crisis intervention including activities relating to youth suicide prevention; substance abuse assessment and truancy reduction/information and referral services. The DHFYSB surpasses the goals set by DJS through three Core Programs: the nationally-recognized Student Mental Health and Reduction of Truancy (SMHART); Children in Need of Services (CINS) and Visionary Youth (VY). The CINS Diversion Program collaborates with DJS, Prince George's County Public Schools (PGCPS), District Heights Police Department, and other community stakeholders invested in preventing and reducing DJS involvement among at-risk youth. We are the only DJS-certified CINS program in Prince Georges County! The program targets those youth at risk of adjudication and diverts them from formal DJS involvement, with services including tutoring, information-and-referral, crisis intervention, risk/needs assessments, psycho-educational groups and family counseling using Evidence Based Practice Models of, Brief Strategic Family Therapy and Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. For two school terms we have developed and operated the Student Mental Health and Relaxation Training Program, which evolved into the Student Mental Health and Reduction of Truancy Program (SMHART). This program was nationally recognized by the prestigious National League of Cities, National Black Caucus of Local Elected Officials, City Cultural Diversity Award Program. Licensed professional SMHART therapists provide mental/behavioral health therapy and family case management in three turnaround schools and one Title I school. Visionary Youth provides after school tutoring; college tours throughout the year; disseminates scholarship information; and provides summer employment for teens who have successfully completed any of our programming.