Partnership for Families, Children, and Adults has made some significant program changes over the last year. What was known as Youth Services, and managed foster care, has since become the River City Youth Collective. Partnership stated there were many other organizations providing foster care services in the area, and felt that they could provide programming that would be beneficial for those in, and or aging out of the foster care system.
“The RCYC is committed to supporting youth and young adults in their transition from adolescence to independence,” said Pam Ladd, chief executive officer. “We now have a space where youth and young adults can find acceptance, support, and opportunities to learn and grow from and with one another.”
The RCYC programs are available to youth and young adults ages 14-24 who are aging out of foster care, have a history of being in, or at risk of being placed in state custody, or who have experienced childhood physical/sexual abuse or neglect. Officials said the programs include:
Life Skills Education utilizing the Casey Life Skills Assessment to determine areas of growth for youth transitioning to adulthood. One on one support and group workshops are developed to aid youth in skills such as changing a tire, grocery shopping, meal prep, personal care, home repair, etc. LSE workshops empower young people to live healthy and independent lives.
Financial Literacy is a key component of the LSE program and uses the Opportunity Passport curriculum to teach about credit, savings, and assets. The classes are taught by a National Foundation for Credit Counseling Certified Counselor through Partnership’s Consumer Credit Counseling program. Not only do participants learn, but the RCYC helps participants open a Tennessee Valley Federal Credit Union savings account to plan for major purchases. The RCYC also provides a one to one match up to $3,000 for participants that are saving to make an asset purchase such as a car, housing deposit, stocks and educational expenses.
Sexual Health Education is designed to educate young men and women about how to avoid contracting HIV, STI's and how to prevent unintended pregnancies. The Sex Health Education program implements the "Sisters Saving Sisters" and the “Manhood 2.0” curriculum which discuss healthy relationships, abstinence, safe sex, and how to make healthy decisions.
Supervised Independent Living Program (Transitional Housing) for young men and women provides prevention and intervention services to those in Extended Foster Care between the ages 18 and 21. The RCYC Independent Living Coordinator (IL Coordinator) assists young adults in establishing independence and keeps proper communication between the young adult and Department of Children’s Services. Partnership currently has three transitional housing sites and is working on expanding further in order to accommodate the housing needs of this population.
Education and Career assistance are provided to youth and young adults of the RCYC with the help of the education and career Navigator. The Navigator assists youth with career assessments, intervention and advocacy at school, transportation assistance, coordination of tutoring services, taking youth on college trips and campus tours, assistance in applying for school and/or employment, interview and career prep, and coaching.
The RCYC offers free one-on-one counseling for youth and young adults that meet the eligibility criteria- regardless of insurance status. The therapy program offers a rotating selection of group therapy including: Young Mothers Support Group, Foster care Support Group, Art and Expressive Therapy group, as well as coordination of therapeutic resources for participants with other community partners.
“Our vision for RCYC therapy is to empower youth and young adults and walk alongside them as they take ownership of their own emotional health and their future successes,” said Sarah Elghalban, program director.
For more information about RCYC, contact Sarah Elghalban at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 755-2722. A new website is under construction for the Collective.