YouthConnect

Clinical social workers connecting at-risk youth to positive choices, in partnership with the Boston Police Department

YouthConnect is an advocacy and intervention program of Boys & Girls Clubs of Boston that helps the most at-risk young people make positive life choices through trusting relationships with skilled and compassionate social workers.

Through our innovative partnership with the Boston Police Department, we place licensed clinical social workers in police stations throughout the city of Boston. This direct partnership with law enforcement allows us to immediately intervene with the child at the critical moment when they are engaging in – or are at risk of – engaging in delinquent activity.

Our relationships with both government agencies and community-based providers, allow our staff to then help secure the most appropriate level of care and services needed to help the young person get back on track for a more hopeful future.

YouthConnect’s innovative clinical model enables social workers to not only assist a wide-range of youth, but also help their families. Services are often put in place for the younger children in the family to help ensure their academic and out-of-school time needs are met, and YouthConnect also works directly with the teen’s parent/guardian to address their concerns and needs.

In addition, our staff provide community-based counseling to address issues related to truancy, delinquency, safety, substance abuse, victimization, school performance and family functioning.

YOUTHCONNECT LOCATIONS

YC MapWe work alongside the Boston Police Department with a focus on the following neighborhoods:

B2 – Roxbury

B3 – Mattapan/Dorchester

C11 – Dorchester

D4 – South End/Lower Roxbury

E13 – Jamaica Plain

We also have a city-wide presence through the Youth Violence Strike Force and the School Police Unit.

INNOVATIVE CLINICAL MODEL

Youth referred to YouthConnect are provided services through our 4-tier service model:

YC1. Intake/Assessment

Upon outreach, every youth and family is offered voluntary, confidential clinical services. An assessment is completed to determine the family and individuals strengths, needs, and stressors to help determine the appropriate level of service provision. Families are asked what they would like assistance with to improve the current family situation. A determination of which service providers are already involved with the youth and family is made with the goal that any YouthConnect intervention will strengthen these relationships.

 

2. Resource Coordination

Upon outreach, every youth and family is offered voluntary, confidential clinical services. An assessment is completed to determine the family and individuals strengths, needs, and stressors to help determine the appropriate level of service provision. Families are asked what they would like assistance with to improve the current family situation. A determination of which service providers are already involved with the youth and family is made with the goal that any YouthConnect intervention will strengthen these relationships.

3. Clinical Case Management

Youth and their families are seen weekly with the focus on parent guidance and support counseling. Clients may have pre-existing relationships with major service providers like DYS, DCF, and school-based services. YouthConnect social workers help facilitate case conferences to have providers and systems come together to identify roles and coordinate culturally appropriate care given the needs of the family. This level of services is open-ended with an eye towards creating a safety net of services for the youth and family.

4. Therapy Services

Youth and their families are seen weekly in therapy for issues related to truancy, delinquency, safety issues, substance use, victimization due to community violence, school performance and family functioning. Youth are generally seen individually, and family meetings are monthly. YouthConnect provides home visits and community based visits, in addition to flexible scheduling, enabling high-risk youth and their families access to social service.

PROVEN RESULTS

YouthConnect’s focus is that young people will exhibit fewer high-risk factors, take ownership of their decisions, engage with key community resources, be better equipped to make positive life choices, and get back on track for a more hopeful future.

Specific long-term goals for young people include:

– Reduce delinquent behaviors that are associated with becoming incarcerated

– Increase involvement in educational, vocational, and out-of-school time opportunities

– Increase support services to help stabilize their lives

A 2004 preliminary CDC study found the following significant changes in the behaviors of YouthConnect clients.

– A 59% reduction in weapon carrying

– A 64% reduction in aggressive behavior

– A 71% reduction in victimization

Last year, YouthConnect offered services to more than 800 young people in Boston and their families.

Since the program’s inception in 1996, YouthConnect has provided more than 12,000 individuals with a variety of intervention services designed to their specific needs and goals. It now serves as a model for urban areas dealing with youth violence, providing strategies and best practices used when working with youth in the juvenile justice system to law enforcement, social workers, and youth-serving agencies from across the country.

In 2012, YouthConnect’s Executive Director was named a White House “Champion of Change”.

PROGRAM NEWS AND EVENTS

BGCB once again receives top 4-star rating from Charity Navigator

The Power of YouthConnect

For this class, graduation is an EPIC event

Annual YouthConnect Partnership Breakfast

YouthConnect Announced as Classy Award Finalist

YouthConnect Nominated as Finalist for the Massachusetts Nonprofit Network Excellence Award

YouthConnect has been nominated as a finalist for the 2016 Massachusetts Nonprofit Network Excellence Award in the Innovation category! Monday, June 27th is Nonprofit Awareness Day, and YouthConnect will join the other finalists,…

YOUTHCONNECT LEADERSHIP


Executive Director
Andrea Perry

Andrea Perry, LICSW, has spent 16 years working for the program.

Before being named Executive Director in 2010, Andrea served for two years as Director of Operations, and before that, as Assistant Clinical Director. In those positions, she shared responsibility for the overall programmatic, administrative and clinical aspects of the program. Previously, Andrea worked in the program as a clinical social worker serving Mattapan and Dorchester, and counseled youth injured in community violence.

Prior to joining YouthConnect, Andrea’s work included working as a VISTA volunteer creating mentoring programs for Boston Public Schools, in a juvenile court clinic, and with a teen parenting program.

In 2012, Andrea received the White House Champion of Change Award in Youth Violence Prevention. She received her undergraduate degree at Smith College, and her MSW at Boston College School of Social Work.  Andrea also completed Boston University’s Institute for Non-Profit Management and Leadership program, and is a 2015 YWCA LeadBoston alumna.


Local Advisory Board

  • Joshua Klevens, Chair
  • Ron Ansin, Honorary Chair
  • Laurence S. Chud, MD
  • Mike Gass
  • Robert Gittens
  • Kanasha Herbert
  • Jeff Herrmann
  • Weston “Tony” Howland III
  • Jill Reilly
  • Elizabeth Silverman
  • Donald K. Stern
  • Robert Sweet
  • Christian Tosi
  • Alexandra Watson

 

For more information, please contact Andrea Perry at aperry@bgcb.org or 617.427.1068.