As the long summer days give way to leaves changing color and the clamor of children in the schoolyard, change has also come to Boys Town.
At the end of September, Boys Town Washington DC will be transitioning to a dedicated Community Support Services organization. To focus our resources and efforts where they will be most effective and in alignment with the needs of our region, we will be discontinuing the Family Homes program. As we close this chapter, we are working with families, partner organizations and the youth who have called Boys Town home to ensure their continued support and engagement on the journey forward. Our commitment to growth and learning have led us to examine how we are best able to empower youth to succeed in their own homes, as research indicates that maintaining the family unit is more likely to result in positive outcomes.
We are honored to have provided the stable and safe environment that made it possible for so many youth to transition out of a family home and develop the skills necessary to live as a productive citizen in the community. However, we also recognize the opportunity to grow our impact through proven and life-changing services offered in the community-based setting. This expansion of impact will include a continued focus on collaboration with the district's child welfare system, education system, the medical community, other service providers and families.
School Support and Care Coordination services within the educational setting offer supports to families experiencing a variety of barriers. Currently, we are active in 10 schools. Our goal is to reduce truancy; our approach is early intervention. At three absences, we engage with the family by performing a home visit where we assess issues, identify immediate barriers, then create a plan to mitigate those barriers. From housing to suitable clothing, from transportation to teaching parenting skills specific to youth educational goals, we link families to resources for continued success. We also offer an in-school social skills group and in-the-moment behavioral interventions. By connecting families with the resources and providing the tools they need to achieve stability, youth can return their attention to learning.
Our Behavioral Health team, led by Dr. Natalie Sergent, has expanded its services into both Montgomery and Prince George counties in Maryland. This has been accomplished through a collaborative endeavor to provide whole person care with an integrated health model: Boys Town clinicians are collocated onsite with medical doctors. This means youth have access to high quality behavioral health services within their pediatric offices – spaces where they have already established trust and safety, and close to their own homes. The expansion means increased access and decreased barriers to mental and behavioral health services for families in need.
We will continue to implement our service model with a foundation in what is best for the child. We are grateful for the continued support of donors like you who invest in the children of our community. This transition to community-based services and your continued support will afford us the opportunity to have a greater impact by serving more children and families. Your generosity is the source of the incredible success stories told by the children of Boys Town.
Yours In Service!
Kichelle ColemanExecutive Director