The Family Advocate (FA) staff help families learn ways to communicate their children’s needs and access resources. These services help parents with youth who are on probation or deferred prosecution comply with the requirements set by Division of Juvenile Justice. FA staff assist families participating in other CIS CC programs. Targeted skills development leads to reduction in problem behaviors by increasing youth’s ability to cope/react in a positive way and make better decisions in the classroom, at home or with peers. For example, if a youth is getting suspended from school for being disrespectful to the teacher or reacting violently to a peer, our Family Advocate teaches that youth better ways to address the situation, i.e. step back before reacting. If a youth does not listen to his/her parent and sneaks out of the house at night the Family Advocate works with the parent to be more consistent in following through with consequences and providing adequate supervision. If a youth is being influenced by negative peers to break laws and skip school, the Family Advocate works with both the youth and the parent. The youth learns how bad decisions lead to problems with Juvenile Services, the school and his/her parents. The parent learns how to enforce consequences and communicate more effectively with the child about issues.
CIS CC’s Family Advocate is a certified facilitator for both the nationally recognized Parenting Matters program and the Strengthening Families Program, an evidence based curriculum implemented with county-wide with partners. Other activities include educational and recreational workshops, field trips, and summer camp placement for youth as a way to teach valuable skills and engage youth in positive activities.