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YV featured as a human services innovator

Holiday Heroes bring cheer

Family  Victories  from  Youth  Villages  Massachusetts

MOSELINE WORKS TOWARD HER GOALS After graduating high school, Moseline prepares for independent future

STAYING WARM THIS WINTER

YV partners with Coats for Kids

Counselor connects with John through hoops

Spring 2011


A  Message  from

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Lawrence

Massachusetts

Woburn

Worcester Springfield Plymouth

MASSACHUSETTS LEADERSHIP COUNCIL

Partnerships help us reach more children Thanks to the support and partnerships of the Department of Children and Families, The Department of Mental Health, the Department of Youth Services, the Family Networks staff and others, Youth Villages in Massachusetts is experiencing tremendous growth. We are helping more children and young adults than ever before through our Intercept and transitional living programs and are expanding into new regions of the Commonwealth. Youth aging out of the state foster care system face tremendous challenges, and our transitional living program is being utilized to help vulnerable young people adjust to independent adult living. We’re serving more than 45 of the Commonwealth’s most at-risk young adults in the TL program in the northeast and greater Boston areas, and we’re beginning to serve youth in the central part of the state. By partnering with the Department of Children and Families, the Department of Mental Health and other nonprofits, we’ve expanded our intensive in-home services as well. We now serve more than 75 families in our Intercept program from nearly every part of the state, including the Plymouth and Cape Cod areas, as well as the western region of Massachusetts. Our leadership council, comprising some of the state’s top business and civic leaders, continues to help us promote the important work we do in the community. In addition, they hold us accountable for achieving positive results. They play

George D’Errico William Foster Deborah Fung Robert P. Gittens Paul S. Grogan Margaret Hall Joanna Jacobson* Paul F. Levy Melinda Marble Robert M. Nephew Mark E. Robinson Marylou Sudders Warren E. Tolman Greg Torres * member of Youth Villages’ national board of directors

CONTACT US Woburn (state headquarters) 400 West Cummings Park Suite 5200 Woburn, MA 01801 phone: 781-937-7900 fax: 781-937-7901 Worcester 324 Grove Street, 1st floor Worcester, MA 01605 phone: 508-368-4300 fax: 508-368-4301

an important role in our advocacy efforts, and we look forward to expanding our community and volunteer work. We’re excited to be able to help more youth in the Commonwealth and bring about a change that will have a positive impact for generations to come. With your help, we continue to reach even more children, young people and families. Thanks for joining with us as we work to help Massachusetts’ children and families live successfully.

Matthew Stone, MSSW Massachusetts State Manager matthew.stone@youthvillages.org 781-937-7917

2

Springfield 30A Capital Drive West Springield, MA 01089 Plymouth 36 Cordage Park Circle Suite 211 Plymouth, MA 02360 Lawrence c/o MSPCC 439 South Union Street Lawrence, MA 01843 phone: 978-349-8580 fax: 978-681-9508


HOW A GAME OF HORSE HELPED JOHN LEARN SUCCESS A simple basketball game of H-O-R-S-E helped change John’s life. When Youth Villages Family Intervention Specialist Jessica Mott first met John, he was curled up in the corner of a room, refusing to speak. The second time, John was clutching a baseball bat, threatening to hurt anyone who came near. Mott calmed John down that day and began earning his trust. John likes outdoor activities, and things began to change when the counselor challenged him to a backyard game of H-O-R-S-E. “At first, I didn’t ask him any questions,” Mott said. “We would just play basketball.” The 14-year-old Lynn boy has serious emotional and behavioral problems that began to appear when he started kindergarten. He would lash out physically and verbally, attacking his parents and teachers. His parents tried everything, but after long stays at several residential programs, John hadn’t been able to transition home. Professionals in Youth Villages’ Intercept intensive in-home services program were assigned to help John make a successful transition home after an 18-month stay in a residential facility. Over time, John looked forward to Mott’s visits three times a week. The games became the setting in which John would open up to his specialist. “He told me what he was feeling, what he needed,” Mott said. Mott was able to help John’s parents develop behavior plans with set rewards and consequences and consistency when handling the boy’s demands. She helped the couple build safety plans that kept the family and John safe in case of emotional outbursts. “She really connected with him,” John’s mother said of Mott. “We’ve had plenty of therapists come into our home over the years, but none of the others reached him. She’s a hands-on type of therapist, and he loves that.” Youth Villages Massachusetts provides intensive help for parents, many of whom have been dealing with their children’s severe behaviors alone. Often parents are forced to call the police for help when their children’s aggression becomes violent. Having a specialist available 24 hours a day, trained to help in crisis situations, has made a big difference to the family.

John, far right, is pictured with his family at their home. Since discharge, John is doing well in school and volunteers at an adult daycare center.

into a more appropriate school setting.

“She came to every meeting we had with the school,” John’s mother said. “When he did transition to the new school, Jessica went with him and helped him feel comfortable and resolved any problems.” The family discharged from Youth Villages’ in-home services last summer, and John’s behavior continues to improve. John earned Bs and Cs on his latest report card and has goals to be a plumber. In the meantime, he volunteers at an adult daycare center for individuals with mental disabilities and participates in an after-school program where he plays instruments, sings and dances. Although the family was nervous about losing the relationship they developed with Mott, they remain confident the tools they learned during treatment have helped promote John’s success in the community. “They are amazing parents,” Mott said. “They both work full-time jobs and have another son to care for, but they have stuck by John.”

“With Youth Villages, if you have a problem, they’ll come out,” John’s mother said. “It doesn’t matter if it’s day or night.” Mott worked with the family as they fought to get John 3


MOSELINE STEPS TOWARD SUCCESS No one expected Moseline to end up as anyone’s role model. From the age of 11, when she was removed from her

lages’ transitional living program. The program gave her hope for the future. “My transitional living specialist

mother’s home because of abuse and

asked me what my goals were, what I

neglect, the Everett, Mass., girl strug-

wanted to do with my life,” Moseline

gled. She lived with an aunt for several

said. “She helped me see beyond my

years, but later ended up in foster care.

current situation.”

“I was just doing whatever I wanted,”

Youth Villages’ TL specialists have a

Moseline said. “I didn’t follow any

single goal: to do whatever it takes to

rules. I didn’t go to school. I might have

help young adults who are leaving fos-

ended up homeless.”

ter care without family support learn

job at a smoothie shop and am able to

Instead, the young woman took cen-

Moseline with TL Specialist Christie Lotti

to live successfully on their own and

save some money. I just purchased a

ter stage at a recent BNY Mellon event,

realize their life goals. When she joined

car and I’m about to move into my own

as grants to help young people aging

the program, Moseline’s goals came

apartment.”

out of foster care in Massachusetts

sharply into focus – graduate high

were announced. Moseline has been

school, enroll in college, get a good job

what else she would like to accomplish,

a participant in Youth Villages’ tran-

and live a comfortable life. Already,

she quickly answered.

sitional living program for 14 months

she has achieved several of her goals

“I’m working toward a degree in hos-

now. The BNY Mellon grant to Youth

with the help of the transitional living

pitality management,” she said. “I want

Villages will support the program and

program.

to find a job where I can put my people

allow it to help more young people. Moseline was edging toward age 18

“I’ve graduated from high school and I am a full-time student at North Shore

When the moderator asked Moseline

skills to work.” With the support of BNY Mellon and

when state support was scheduled to

Community College,” Moseline told

the Youth Villages transitional living

end. She was running out of options

the group, sitting poised and confident

program, Moseline is taking the right

when she found out about Youth Vil-

in front of the microphone. “I have a

first steps toward a successful life.

YV PARTICIPATES IN FORUM ON EFFECTIVE HELP FOR FAMILIES Matthew Stone, Youth Villages

of family preservation and reunifica-

been shifting money and attention

Massachusetts state manager, par-

tion, and described the work of the

toward in-home care. Stone spoke

ticipated as a panelist and spoke

Strengthening Families Coalition

about the need to further pursue in-

about the benefits of Youth Villages’

that is keeping families together.

tensive in-home programs that save

programs during a summer forum sponsored by The Boston Foundation.

Her words set the stage for the ensuing panel discussion. Vice-chair of the Massachusetts

taxpayers money while improving outcomes. The event, moderated by Marylou

The forum, titled “The Utility

House Ways and Means Committee

Sudders, president and chief ex-

of Trouble: Maximizing the Value

Barbara L’Italien believes the state

ecutive officer of the Massachusetts

of Our Human Services Dollars,”

needs to consider long-term solu-

Society for the Prevention of Cruelty

brought people together to better

tions to the budget crisis as it relates

to Children, was an opportunity for

understand how to bring innovation

to human services. Fitchburg State

presenters and panelists to highlight

to the human services sector.

College Associate Professor Chris-

some of the innovative approaches

tine Shane acknowledged that Mas-

that can be taken by the human ser-

chael Widmer, president of the Mas-

Featured speakers included Mi-

sachusetts is in the middle of a crisis,

vices sector to reduce state spend-

sachusetts Taxpayers Foundation,

and that change, while difficult, is

ing without sacrificing progress and

who presented research findings on

necessary. Shane praised Youth Vil-

success.

the importance of changing the way

lages as an innovative program and

human services are delivered. Sana

model for keeping families together.

received by the audience and panel-

Fadel, director of public policy at

Department of Children and Fami-

ists alike, and the forum is proud to

Rosie’s Place, also presented find-

lies Commissioner Angelo McClain

be a catalyst for continued focus on

ings demonstrating the importance

spoke next, and noted that DCF has

these issues.

4

Youth Villages’ approach was well


Program  Success

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MASSACHUSETTS PROGRAM SUCCESS



MEET THE YV LEADERSHIP COUNCIL Bob Nephew President, RM Nephew and Associates Leadership Council Member - Boston It was my daughterâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s work in human services that first introduced me to the challenges surrounding the foster care system and the vast number of youth aging out of state care each year who are still in need of support. When I learned of Youth Villages and the transitional living program they offer, it struck a chord with me. I agreed to be on the leadership council because I believe it is an active way for me to utilize my skill set to make a difference.

The graph above represents where children are six months after being discharged from Youth Villagesâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; Intercept intensive in-home services.

What I find unique about Youth Villages is that their business model is centered on metrics, growth and effective service delivery. After meet-

MASSACHUSETTS MILESTONES OCTOBER 5, 2010

ing some of the staff and leadership

MA Intercept program admitted

of the organization, I was impressed

its first Plymouth family.

by the efficiency and enthusiasm of

DECEMBER 17, 2010 MA Intercept discharged its 300th family.

the team. What has been most rewarding about my involvement with Youth Villages is having the confidence that

FEBRUARY 1, 2011 MA transitional living program

Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m working with an organization thoroughly commit-

receives its first referral from

ted to helping children and families and whose team

Central Massachusetts.

is dedicated to doing whatever it takes to help. That confidence comes from the time Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve spent in the field with their staff and the youth participating in their transitional living services. With so many places to consider, if we are going to invest a piece of ourselves, we want to know that there will be a positive, meaningful result. I truly believe that by investing in Youth Villages, the chances of achieving that objective are very high. 5


YV IN THE COMMUNITY

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This year, Youth Villages’ Holiday Heroes initiative provided more than 160 children from Massachusetts and New Hampshire with holiday joy and relief. To kick off the initiative, Youth Villages Massachusetts held its second annual Holiday Heroes gift drive at J.A. Stats in Downtown Boston. More than 100 young professionals attended the event, which raised more than $2,000 and 85 gifts for the families Youth Villages serves. Additionally, several corporate partners shopped to fulfill the holiday wishes of more than 100 children. Gifts of all shapes and sizes were distributed to more than 70 families before Christmas.

Excited employees of OnForce strike a pose with their donated gifts.

After visiting one household, a Youth Villages family intervention specialist described the mother’s reaction to

Guests were all smiles at the Holiday Heroes gift drive.

receiving gifts: “I had one family who was so appreciative before I even came with the gifts. Then, when I arrived

Pictured from left to right are Stewart Solomon, Youth Villages Intercept Clinical Supervisor Edith Block and Kelly Shea.

with the gifts, she was so elated that she was brought to tears. For a mother who told me there would be no Christmas, these donations and the love that inspired people to give really made a difference.”

A heartfelt thank you to our corporate partners who sponsored more than 40 families this holiday season: Bullhorn, The Paul & Phyllis Fireman Charitable Foundation, Gordon Brothers Group, JDJ Resources, JMJ Dance Studio, Kaspersky Lab, OnForce Inc.

Bullhorn employees donated money to purchase gifts for 60 children.

WHAT OTHERS SAY ABOUT YOUTH VILLAGES Lori Casey

Senior Intensive Care Coordinator Lowell Community Service Agency

family needs in order to stabilize and prioritize their problems. Additionally, the transitional living program, although still fairly new in Massachusetts, has been successful in assisting youth aging out of foster care

In my opinion, from my past role as program director for the Massa-

in maintaining their own apartments and enrolling in higher educational programs.

chusetts Society for the Prevention

The Intercept family intervention specialists and

of Cruelty to Children Lead Agency

transitional living specialists are always willing to do

in Haverhill, Youth Villages was the

whatever it takes to meet the goals of treatment for

most intensive service that the Department of Chil-

the youth with whom they work. In my experience with

dren and Families had to offer out of their support and

Youth Villages, I never found there to be a task too

stabilization service menu.

big or too small that the specialists were not willing to

I found that Youth Villages works best with a family

conquer. I believe the intensity of the service and the

that has multiple issues and whose baseline presenta-

dedication of the staff have enabled many youth to be

tion is one of crisis or chaos. The Intercept program

successful in remaining at home and not having to go

is able to provide the intense services that this type of

into residential or group home care.

6


JOIN OUR EFFORTS

Become  a  force  for  families There is no better time to be in fundraising than during the holidays! To see the outpouring of generosity from corporations and individuals alike is always humbling. This season, I have been truly moved by the selfless acts of kindness of our supporters. Because of the help of so many, more than 70 struggling families were able to put their stressors aside and create joyful holiday memories as a fam-

)DI:D;/=6C@H To all those who have supported our work by making a gift between July 1, 2010 and Dec. 31, 2010, thank you. Your continued generosity allows us to provide the most effective services to children and families across the Commonwealth. We give a special thanks to those who contributed $500 or more during this timeframe.

ily. Interested in getting involved? Learn how: Contact me directly.

Kristin Wright, Development Manager 781-937-7931, kristin.wright@youthvillages.org

YV Visionary (UVU`TV\Z BNY Mellon ;OL.YLLU3PNO[-\UK

A SIMPLE ACT OF KINDNESS

Because of the gen-

erosity of several local donors, seven young adults were able to attend Red Sox games during the 2010 season, and three young adults

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YV Champion for Children AT&T

attended a Celtics game.

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For many of the youth in

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our programs, attending

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a sporting event is something they only dream about. If you have tickets to local sporting events or theater productions that you’d like to donate, please contact Kristin Wright. See contact information above.

YV PARTNERS WITH COATS FOR KIDS TO KEEP FAMILIES WARM This winter, Youth Villages Massachusetts joined forces with Coats for Kids, a nonprofit serving at-risk children by collecting and distributing winter coats to the local

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Join our networks www.facebook.com/youthvillages

community. As a distribution partner, Youth Villages worked closely with Coats for Kids and Anton’s Cleaners to provide gently worn,

www.twitter.com/youthvillages

dry-cleaned coats to children and families in need. Because of partnerships like this, all families receiving Youth

www.youthvillages.wordpress.com

Villages’ services and struggling to make ends meet had access to a basic necessity many of us take for granted—a warm winter coat. 7


YOUTH VILLAGES >LZ[*\TTPUNZ7HYR:\P[L >VI\YU4( (KKYLZZ:LY]PJL9LX\LZ[LK

NONPROFIT ORG U.S. POSTAGE PAID YOUTH VILLAGES

(WYP]H[LUVUWYVÃ&#x201E;[VYNHUPaH[PVU@V\[O=PSSHNLZZLY]LZTVYL[OHU JOPSKYLUHUK[OLPYMHTPSPLZMYVTVMÃ&#x201E;JLZPU[OLMVSSV^PUNJP[PLZ! Alabama:(UUPZ[VU)PYTPUNOHT+V[OHU/\U[Z]PSSL4VIPSL Arkansas:1VULZIVYV3P[[SL9VJR Florida:3HRLSHUK4PHTP;HTWH Georgia:([SHU[H+V\NSHZ]PSSL Massachusetts:3H^YLUJL7S`TV\[O:WYPUNÃ&#x201E;LSK>VI\YU>VYJLZ[LY Mississippi:)PSV_P/H[[PLZI\YN/LYUHUKV1HJRZVU;\WLSV New Hampshire:4HUJOLZ[LY North Carolina:(ZOL]PSSL*OHYSV[[L*VUJVYK-H`L[[L]PSSL.YLLUZIVYV.YLLU]PSSL/PJRVY`7PULO\YZ[9HSLPNO+\YOHT>PSTPUN[VU Tennessee:*OH[[HUVVNH*SHYRZ]PSSL*VS\TIPH*VVRL]PSSL+PJRZVU+`LYZI\YN1HJRZVU1VOUZVU*P[` 2UV_]PSSL3PUKLU4LTWOPZ4VYYPZ[V^U5HZO]PSSL7HYPZ Texas: Dallas Washington, D.C.

New Heights Massachusetts is published by Youth Villages Managing Editor: Matthew Stone Associate Editor: Chris Pennington Please e-mail kristin.wright@youthvillages.org or call 781-937-7931 to have your name removed from our mailing list.

Founded in 1986, Youth Villages has built a national reputation for offering the most effective programs and services [VOLSWLTV[PVUHSS`[YV\ISLKJOPSKYLUHUK[OLPYMHTPSPLZ>P[OVMÃ&#x201E;JLZPU3H^YLUJL7S`TV\[O>VI\YUHUK>VYJLZ[LY [OLWYP]H[LUVUWYVÃ&#x201E;[VYNHUPaH[PVUWYV]PKLZPU[LUZP]LPUOVTLHUK[YHUZP[PVUHSSP]PUNZLY]PJLZ[OYV\NOV\[[OL Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Please visit www.youthvillages.org to learn more.


NewHeights_Spring2011_MA