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DHS News Newsletter July 2009

DHS to co-host Youth Summit for 75 youth

July 2009

As part of the Department’s effort to improve outcomes for children and families, DHS will collaborate with the Human Services Administration Organization (HSAO) and the Independent Living Project to host the second annual Youth Summit on August 11, 2009 at the Family Retreat Center in Mars, PA. The Summit will start at 9:30 a.m. and conclude at 6:00 p.m.

The Summit is intended for youth and young adults, ages 13 to 25 years, who are in or aging out of HSAO programs, the Independent Living Project and the DHS Office of Behavioral Health System of Care Initiative (SOCI). Seventy-five youth and young adults (25 from each of the three participating programs) have been identified to attend the event. Some of the youth and young adults also participated in the Summit’s Youth Planning Committee.

Youth Planning Committee

The Youth Planning Committee came up with the theme (Reducing Violence), designed the logo, defined what they would like to see in the three breakout sessions, and determined that they would once again like to see a talent show. (Last year’s Youth Summit also had a talent show.)

“They really took the initiative to do the majority of the planning,” said Lisa Ashbaugh of HSAO. “The Administrative Planning Committee just helped them make it happen and help them identify speakers and other professionals.”

Administrative Planning Committee support youth

With the theme identified by the Youth Planning Committee, the Administrative Planning Committee brought in Jeff Yalden, an internationally known youth motivational speaker, to deliver the keynote presentation and found professionals to moderate the three breakout sessions. The topics of the breakout sessions will be family and domestic violence; community violence and trauma; and alternatives to violence.

The future of improving outcomes

In upcoming issues, DHS NEWS will expand its coverage of the Department’s Improving Outcomes Initiatives, including the results of the request for proposals (RFP) for the Street Team and the Work-based Learning Specialists.

The Street Team will be a peer-support leadership team, comprised of youth in the child welfare system who have been trained in youth development principles and practices, leadership, communication and conflict resolution. The Street Team is equipped to provide a range of informational needs critical to the developmental and future of transitioning age youth, assisting youth either through face-to face presentations or online assistance. The Street Team will provide services to 300 youth during fiscal year 2009-2010.

The Work-based Learning Specialists will guide youth, ages 16 to 24 years with tools, techniques, skills and abilities to successfully enter and advance in the labor market and match appropriate educational and credentialing opportunities with training and community resources. The Work-based Learning Specialists will provide 470 youth with professional work experiences during fiscal year 2009-2010.


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