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How the Alternatives for Youth Program Keeps Kids Out of Trouble

alternatives for youth program

EAC Network’s Alternatives for Youth (AFY) program’s immediate intervention services help families stay together in times of crisis. It provides direct assistance and a vital link to appropriate social services, which has been highly successful at diverting young people away from the juvenile justice system.

EAC Network’s Solution to a Difficult Problem

During the course of a year, an estimated 2.1 million young people under the age of 18 are arrested in America. As they enter the juvenile justice system, these youth are faced with many new and challenging situations. AFY provides Long Island juveniles and their families the care and support needed to get them through similar challenging times.

youth arrests | alternatives for youth programHow Alternatives for Youth Program Works

Alternatives for Youth’s success is built on a partnership between parents, the adolescent, and a case manager. It typically begins with intensive home-based intervention, which is focused on providing immediate assistance that keeps a family together.

The strategy is to stabilize the family crisis, implement a Family Intervention Plan, and then link the family with community resources. After-care is also available beyond the initial 30-day crisis intervention.

Of the more than 10,000 referrals to community resources made to date, Alternatives for Youth has over a 90 percent success rate at diverting adolescents from the juvenile justice system.

Teen Enrichment Program

In times of crisis, adolescents can benefit from having someone who can guide them through issues they may be dealing with. AFY provides male and female Peer Specialists who engage youth in positive recreational and educational activities. Through one-on-one and group outings, adolescents can learn to make healthier choices and improve their life skills.

basketball and recreational activities | Alternatives for YouthParent Support Program

When young people enter the juvenile justice system, it tends to affect the whole family. EAC Network also assists parents with better handling their family’s needs. Alternatives for Youth conducts workshops that empowers parents to address the new challenges they are now facing. In-house referrals to programs like the Long Island Parenting Institute create a holistic approach to improving family needs.

Linkages to Support Services

EAC Network also provides a link to a variety of relevant services. We connect young people and families helpful support services, like:

  • Substance abuse counseling
  • Individual and family counseling
  • Educational advocacy services
  • Outpatient psychiatric evaluations
  • Mental health services
  • Youth Bureau recreational services

Long Term Support and Aftercare Services

Alternatives for Youth does much more than provide immediate assistance. Aftercare is available for families that require additional services or support beyond crisis intervention. Aftercare typically lasts three to six months, but may extend for up to a year if necessary, and is tailored to the family’s needs.

How You Can Help AFY

Alternatives for Youth is always in need of school supplies and clothes for male and female teenagers. To support this EAC Network Family & Community program, you can donate here or call (516) 539-0510 x117.

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