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Boys Town: Saving Children, Healing Families, Parenting Tips | Save the Date for 2018 Blue Water Bash Boys Town: Saving Children, Healing Families, Parenting Tips | Save the Date for 2018 Blue Water Bash <p>​​​​​​Save the date for the seventh annual Boys Town "Blue Water Bash" on Saturday, July 28! This fun-filled summer party will benefit Boys Town's Okoboji Camp. <a href="">Get your tickets today!</a></p><p>Don't forget to take a moment to browse the dozens of silent auction items up for bid while enjoying heavy hors d'ouevres and an open bar. We'll also have live music throughout the evening! The band performing will be "Jonah and the Whales."​ After the live auction, the dance floor will be open! This is definitely a party at the lake you don't want to miss!</p><p>Sponsorships are still available for this event. <a href="">Register online</a> or contact Melissa Steffes for more information at <a href="mailto:melissa.steffes@boystown.or?subject=Blue%20Water%20Bash" target="_blank"></a>.</p><h3>Date </h3><p>July 28, 2018 </p><h3>Time </h3><p>6:30 p.m.</p><h3>Location</h3><p>Boys Town Okoboji Camp<br> 1501 Okoboji Boulevard<br> Milford, Iowa </p>2018-07-28T05:00:00ZEvent<img alt="Blue Water Bash" src="/blog/PublishingImages/ne_bluewater2018_thumb.jpg" style="BORDER:0px solid;" /> <img alt="Blue Water Bash" src="/blog/PublishingImages/BWB-2018.jpg" style="BORDER:0px solid;" />Nebraska;#



Boys Town: Saving Children, Healing Families, Parenting Tips | Boys Town Graduation Boys Town: Saving Children, Healing Families, Parenting Tips | Boys Town Graduation <p>For​ many, Boys Town becomes a home, a school and a support system for young boys and girls across the nation. Graduation marks a new beginning for the students who came from all over with many different backgrounds and circumstances. These students have lacked the advantages that many other high schoolers receive and now Boys Town sends them on their way with a diploma and new skills to achieve great things.</p><p>This year 108 students graduated from Boys Town High School on Sunday, May 20, 2018. The ceremony was held in Boys Town Music Hall at 1:30 p.m. where the graduates' friends, families and teachers gathered to celebrate their successes. Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts also came to celebrate this milestone with the students.  About 65 percent will attend a two-year or four-year college program, most will join the work force and a few will go into the Job Corps and/or Military.</p><p>A 2018 graduate, Gerald, stood before his peers to speak about how special a place like Boys Town is and how the relationships formed are unlike any other high school. He spoke of the importance of supporting each other regardless of their differences in order to achieve success each day.</p><p>"Boys Town has given us all the resources, knowledge and skills to be great," ​said Gerald. "So now it's up to us all to put them to use, to make the best out of what life throws at us."</p><p>Let's take a moment to celebrate the Boys Town High School Class of 2018. Their determination has brought them to this moment in life and thanks to the support of Boys Town these students have been given the opportunity to see the potential that lies in each and every one of them.​</p>2018-06-06T05:00:00ZNews<img alt="" src="/locations/nebraska/news-and-events/PublishingImages/Graduation2018.jpg" style="BORDER:0px solid;" />Nebraska;#
Boys Town: Saving Children, Healing Families, Parenting Tips | Boys Town Foster Family Services Screams for Ice Cream Boys Town: Saving Children, Healing Families, Parenting Tips | Boys Town Foster Family Services Screams for Ice Cream <p>On May 7, Boys Town Nebraska Foster Family Services<sup>®</sup> held their 2nd Annual Ice Cream Social at the Great Hall. The event kicks off Foster Care Awareness Month and invites foster parents, children and staff to gather and enjoy a cool treat. </p><p>As of June 2017 there were 3,960 children in out-of-home care in the state of Nebraska, which was a 5.1 percent increase from the previous year. Boys Town has a very important role in the foster care system from recruiting and training foster parents to supporting the foster families with our team of dedicated experts. </p><p>The families who attended this year's ice cream social had a wonderful time at the event with door prizes, activities for the children, bingo and of course some yummy ice cream. Father Boes also made a special appearance to say hello to the children and families. </p><p>"This event is part of our recognition of May as National Foster Care Month. It is the time a year in which we spend some additional time celebrating the work of dedicated foster parents throughout our community who work to provide the stability and structure for children in the foster care system," said Matthew Priest, Nebraska Foster Family Services Director. </p><p>Special thanks to Hiland Dairy and HyVee Linden Park for their contributions to this event and a big thank you to everyone at Boys Town who put together this Ice Cream Social to celebrate our foster families.</p><div class="hidden-gal"> <a class="image-group cboxElement" href="/locations/nebraska/news-and-events/PublishingImages/052218_IceCream.jpg" title="Ice Cream"> </a> </div> 2018-05-29T05:00:00ZNews<img alt="Ice Cream" src="/locations/nebraska/news-and-events/PublishingImages/052218_IceCreamgift.jpg" style="BORDER:0px solid;" />Nebraska;#
Boys Town: Saving Children, Healing Families, Parenting Tips | Nolan Heinrich of Maryville, Tennessee Elected 118th Mayor of Boys Town Boys Town: Saving Children, Healing Families, Parenting Tips | Nolan Heinrich of Maryville, Tennessee Elected 118th Mayor of Boys Town <p>Boys Town youth elected Nolan Heinrich of Maryville, Tennessee, the 118th mayor of the Village of Boys Town on Tuesday, May 1, 2018. Romeo Wright of West Palm Beach, Fla., was elected vice mayor. </p><p>Heinrich is on the Boys Town football team, in the church choir and in the school band. After graduation, he plans to go to college to become a welder. His Family-Teachers are Brian and Kathleen Phillips. </p><p>Romeo Wright is a captain on the football and wrestling teams. After graduation, he plans to attend a four-year college. His Family-Teachers are Ryan and Brittany McClure.</p><p>Father Edward Flanagan conceived the self-government system at the Village of Boys Town in 1926 as a tool for its citizens to build character, citizenship and a sense of community. The process was made famous in the 1938 Academy Award-winning movie "Boys Town," where Mickey Rooney portrayed Whitey Marsh, a tough young boy who turns his life around and becomes Mayor of Boys Town.</p><p>Congratulations to Nolan and Romeo on becoming the new mayor and vice mayor of the Village of Boys Town!</p>2018-05-09T05:00:00ZNews<img alt="Boys Town Mayor" src="/locations/nebraska/news-and-events/PublishingImages/2018Mayor_web.jpg" style="BORDER:0px solid;" />Nebraska;#
Boys Town: Saving Children, Healing Families, Parenting Tips | HOSA Students Participate in Annual Senior Citizen Prom, Celebrate Donors Boys Town: Saving Children, Healing Families, Parenting Tips | HOSA Students Participate in Annual Senior Citizen Prom, Celebrate Donors <p>​​​​​​On April 18, students in Boys Town High School's Health Occupations Students of America (HOSA) program had one final exam. This exam did not require a pen and paper, but rather dancing shoes and corsages. </p><p>Each April, Stevie Gass, Health Services Teacher, has her students dress up for a second prom at Remington Heights, a senior living community in Omaha, Nebraska. "This is like their final exam in compassion and caring," said Gass. </p><p>Gass teaches her students traditional dance moves to prepare them for the Senior Citizen Prom. Now in its 11<sup>th</sup> year, students wear their most elegant dresses and best suits to bring joy to the residents at Remington Heights and it is something the center looks forward to each year. </p><p>In addition to the Senior Citizen Prom, Gass and her students held a special celebration earlier in the day to honor Harry and Diane Van Trees. The Van Treeses have been long-time supporters of Boys Town's HOSA program and donate corsages for the Senior Citizen Prom each year, as well as grant scholarships to kids in the HOSA program. </p><p>This year, the Van Treeses traveled from Virginia to Omaha to attend the Senior Citizens Prom with Gass and her students. To thank the Van Treeses for their support over the years, the students threw a 65<sup>th</sup> wedding anniversary party for the couple complete with pizza, cake, punch and great conversation. Held in the Great Hall on Boys Town's Home Campus, the students surprised the Van Treeses as they walked in to the group singing "Happy Anniversary to you!"</p><p>Father Boes attended the party to bless the Van Trees' marriage and to give them an anniversary gift. "On behalf of Boys Town, we'd like to present you with our 100 Years Story. You've been a big part of that story," said Father Boes. </p><p>Thanks to the Harry and Diane Van Trees and to Stevie Gass for making the Senior Citizens Prom a special and memorable event for Boys Town kids. </p>2018-05-04T05:00:00ZNews<img alt="anniversary" src="/locations/nebraska/news-and-events/HOSA%20Students/Prom.jpg" style="BORDER:0px solid;" /> <img alt="Senior Citizen Prom" src="/locations/nebraska/news-and-events/HOSA%20Students/Prom.jpg" style="BORDER:0px solid;" />Nebraska;#
Boys Town: Saving Children, Healing Families, Parenting Tips | TV contractor Josh Temple has been critical to trades program comeback at Boys Town Boys Town: Saving Children, Healing Families, Parenting Tips | TV contractor Josh Temple has been critical to trades program comeback at Boys Town <p><em></em><a href=""><em>This article is written by Marjie Ducey, World-Herald staff writer. It was posted on April 10, 2018.</em></a></p><p>Television contractor and host Josh Temple fell in love with Boys Town five years ago.</p><p>He was in Omaha to do a house crash and taped a public service announcement for the organization while he was here. The relationship has remained strong and led to a rejuvenation of the high school's trades program.</p><p>"I love college, but it's not for everyone,'' he said while speaking last weekend at the Metro Omaha Builders Association Home Show, which was produced by The World-Herald.</p><p>He wanted to give the kids at Boys Town another choice when they left high school. For some, college is just too expensive or too difficult. The military isn't an option, either.</p><p>Temple has done media work, held a construction contractor round table to ask contractors what they are looking for when hiring, and arranged for donations of tools and equipment for the trades classes.</p><p>He's supported the after-care program for youths entering the trades as a career and christened it Trade Life. He's raised more than $20,000 himself.</p><p>"I'm trying to get the trades back in fashion,'' he said. "We are going to need plumbers and roofs over our heads. We are going to need lights. Our toilets are going to have to work.''</p><p>Temple also toured Metro Community College while he was in Omaha last weekend to see the work being done in the trades there.</p><p>On Monday, he and Jeff Devlin, host of "Stone House Revival" on the DIY Network, worked with Boys Town students on building a table that will be auctioned off at the school's booster banquet May 1.</p><p>Temple says there are just too many baristas and not enough plumbers.</p><p>"I think Omaha is a breeding ground for this kind of mentality. I appreciate it, and it's why I keep coming back,'' Temple said. "This has been my lane, and I'm really glad to be in it.''</p>2018-04-11T05:00:00ZNews<img alt="Josh & Jeff" src="/news/PublishingImages/JoshJeff.jpg" style="BORDER:0px solid;" />Nebraska;#
Boys Town: Saving Children, Healing Families, Parenting Tips | Boys Town Nebraska Supports Child Abuse Awareness Month with Pinwheels for Prevention Boys Town: Saving Children, Healing Families, Parenting Tips | Boys Town Nebraska Supports Child Abuse Awareness Month with Pinwheels for Prevention <p>April is Child Abuse Awareness month and this April, Project Harmony is partnering with organizations throughout Omaha, Nebraska to continue to stand up against child abuse and neglect, through participation in the National Pinwheels for Prevention campaign. The pinwheel is a symbol for child abuse prevention that not only represents whimsical, child-like wonder, but serves as a reminder that all children deserve a healthy childhood. Every year, more than 3 million referrals are made to child protection agencies about the abuse and neglect of a child, and every April, communities located all over the nation dedicate their time to spread awareness about this ongoing problem. </p><p>This will be the eighth year that Boys Town Nebraska Foster Family Services is participating in Pinwheels for Prevention, creating a display of 1,000 blue pinwheels and banner located at the Pacific Street entrance of the Village of Boys Town. The Boys Town display is one of many that is being put up across the Omaha area, doing their part to inform and recognize April as Child Abuse Awareness Month. Boys Town has been protecting children since 1917, and supporting this campaign is another way to help end the fight against abuse and give children a voice.</p>2018-04-09T05:00:00ZNews<img alt="pinwheels" src="/locations/nebraska/PublishingImages/Pinwheels.jpg" style="BORDER:0px solid;" />Nebraska;#
Boys Town: Saving Children, Healing Families, Parenting Tips | Juvenile Justice Advocacy: Working to Help Local Youth Boys Town: Saving Children, Healing Families, Parenting Tips | Juvenile Justice Advocacy: Working to Help Local Youth <p><em></em><a href="" target="_blank"><em>This article is written by Cheril Lee. It was posted on March 7, 2018.</em></a></p><p>Most of the kids Boys Town assists are referred from juvenile court, "They're still at home, but there are some things going on where they're at risk of having to leave. So we go into the homes and do family preservation work so kids can stay in their schools, homes and communities," said Nick Juliano, Director of Regional Advocacy and Public Policy at Boys Town.</p><p>Juliano explained kids have the best outcomes when they're able to stay in their routines.</p><p>"Ideally, we want kids with their families, with their parents or their extended families. And we want kids staying in their schools and staying in their homes," Juliano said.</p><p>He acknowledged there are some kids who cannot remain in their homes and these kids then go to live at Boys Town. Juliano said it could be because there's a safety issue or maybe they live in a community where they're continuing to violate the law or they're skipping school. Eventually though, these children will return home to their family and their school.</p><p>But Boys Town is about much more than just housing.  According to Juliano, "We are involved in quite a bit of advocacy work and public policy work around juvenile justice reform here in Omaha. We work on committees and with youth impact programs. We want to make sure there are good policies for young people that are in the juvenile justice system so when they do get into trouble and are in juvenile court, they can get the services they need."</p><p>He said kids are referred to Boys Town for any issue you can think of but that it all starts with a law violation, where they end up in juvenile court or the Juvenile Assessment Center (JAC) because of that violation.</p><p>"Often times, there's other things going on in that home with the parents or with the young person whether it's mental health issues or substance abuse issues. Truancy is prevalent in that group of kids that will end up at the JAC or in juvenile court," said Juliano.</p><p>Then there are the typical challenges families face, including poverty.</p><p>"Poverty impacts where families are able to live and may expose them to environments where there may be more crime. Or the student may have more unstructured time where they're not in sports or other extracurricular activities, so they're hanging around and getting into trouble," he said.</p><p>Juliano believes there's an increasing recognition both here in Douglas County and nationally, with the research and best practices, that what a young person ends up in court for is an issue, but that it doesn't tell the whole story.</p><p>"You've got, sometimes, kids that are at home taking care of younger brothers and sisters when they should be attending school and doing other things. You have kids that are unsupervised and obviously are on the streets getting in trouble," he said.</p><p>Substance abuse and mental health issues are becoming an increasingly common part of these kids' experiences.</p><p>Juliano said one of the models here in Douglas County is called Youth Impact. He described it as a national crossover model which recognizes that young kids who have adverse experiences or are the victims of abuse or neglect when they are young, tend to be more likely to become delinquents and get in trouble when they are older.</p><p>One of the programs that Boys Town offers that has the largest impact is out of its South Omaha Office. Staffers work directly with South High School and Marrs Middle School.</p><p>"And our primary approach there is to work with a school counselor, a gang interventionist, and families directly, when an adult in a young person's life is seeing they are starting to have school problems," Juliano said.</p><p>Staff can work with families in their homes. They can also provide care coordination, which means meeting with the families, helping them connect with the school and making sure that they are getting the supports that they need from the school as well as linking them with other kinds of services in the community.</p><p>Boys Town has a strong presence in South Omaha including an outpatient behavioral health clinic. If a parent or someone from the school thinks there may be an emerging mental health or substance abuse issue, they can come in and get an assessment and a referral as well, if needed.</p><p>They also provide parent training, giving parents the skills to work with their kids, and address their behaviors.</p><p>"We are really trying to get to the family sooner. For South High, we operate an alternative school for 9th and 10th graders. Kids who get suspended have an option to attend a school in their office with South High's curriculum and laptops. It also gives suspended students the opportunity to continue working on their academic credits and the behaviors that led to their suspension," Juliano said.</p><p>Another challenge is the large population of parents who are not native-English speakers. Some are having immigration challenges or a tough time assimilating into our culture. Boys Town tries to provide a broad base for all families.</p><p>Boys Town's work is funded through a variety of sources. Their in-home programs are funded directly by the Probation Administration. If its in-home work is a court referral, we have a contract where Probation will fund those services. If they're kids in the Child Welfare System, they have a contract with PromiseShip.</p><p>"But largely, in South Omaha, the vast majority of the families we serve are not yet involved with the system. So, the program I described in South Omaha is funded about 60% by Boys Town directly and about 40% from grants through community foundations, the United Way and other foundations and funders," he said.</p><p>That model serves kids before they enter the system, so the funding that comes along with kids being involved in the system is not available to most of those families in South Omaha. In North Omaha, Boys Town has a mix of some system-involved families. In those cases, the behavioral health piece is largely private insurance or Medicaid.</p><p>"So, we kind of put it all together the best we can to serve as many kids as we can," Juliano said.</p><p>Shawne Coonfare, Director of the Juvenile Assessment Center (JAC), says the JAC's general philosophy is if a youth is eligible to be diverted from formal court processing, then they need to do that.</p><p>"It's really more about supporting youth and young people in what they need than keeping them out of court. What's most important to us is that we are supporting the young citizens of Douglas County. And, by doing that, many of them don't need to proceed to court," said Coonfare.</p><p>The JAC provides assessments for juveniles for the County Attorney's office. Coonfare explained the CA's office has the legal responsibility of determining further processing and further charging decisions. So they rely on the JAC to use a standardized, validated, risk-assessment instrument and other screening instruments that can help them determine the real risk and needs for that individual youth.  </p><p>Coonfare said not all kids are the same, "Two young people might be shoplifting together at Claire's, and they both come to the JAC. They meet individually with an assessment professional here as do their parents or guardians. We look at the youth holistically, within the framework of our validated risk-assessment instruments and determine what are their risk and needs. One youth may actually have low risk, not have many needs and so may receive a recommended warning letter from the County Attorney. And another youth, in that same incident, may show a really high risk to continue offending behavior and other unhealthy behavior and needs some interventions put in place, like a therapy intervention or decision-making, something like that."</p><p>The common charges kids face every year are theft, shoplifting, substance abuse and fighting. The actual issue areas the JAC is seeing are concerning.</p><p>"We're really seeing an increase in mental health issues that kids are facing and challenging family situations. So we are trying to find services to address whole families rather than just the youth," she said.</p><p>Coonfare said they're also seeing kids experiencing suicidal ideation so they're trying to make sure they get the right things in place for kids around those issues.</p><p>For the last decade, the JAC has been funded about 50% by grants and 50% by County General Funds.</p><p>"It's really that steadfast support of the County Board of Commissioners that we rely on for our functioning – to see kids and get them connected with services," she said.</p><p>There are also large grants right now from the Nebraska Crime Commission that pay providers in the community, so the JAC can make referrals to those providers to serve kids.</p><p>Over the last 15 years, the JAC has not only gotten good at their jobs, but they also continue to seek out ways to get better. Coonfare explained that includes some research projects they have going on with UNO and UNL. She said these projects continually offer the JAC opportunities to examine their processes so they can get better at serving kids.</p><p>For parents who are struggling with youth behavior, at any age, Coonfare recommends contacting the Nebraska Family Helpline.</p><p>"Anyone who needs help trying to connect a youth with any kind of services, call the Nebraska Family Helpline and they will help match resources in the community for any, any youth issue," she said.</p><p><em>Nebraska Family Helpline, 888-866-8660; Boys Town,</em></p>2018-03-13T05:00:00ZNewsNebraska;#