Support Services for Youth & Families
All youth who participate in cityWILD receive comprehensive Support Services. cityWILD believes that in order for youth to reach their potential they need to feel fully supported at home, at school, and in the community:
cityWILD offers comprehensive case management for all participating students and their families. cityWILD’s “Support Services Team” includes a bilingual Master’s level social worker, and Master’s and Bachelor’s level social work interns from the University of Denver and Metro State College. The Support Services Team works together with youth, their families, the schools, and other community service providers to make sure that students have access to the resources necessary for their social and emotional development.
All youth are eligible for cityWILD’s core support services, which are the foundation of cityWILD’s support programming and are offered in conjunction with its Core Programs. Core support services can include, but are not limited to:
- Initial intake assessment
All new students meet with a social worker to complete a brief intake assessment, which allows cityWILD to more effectively meet the needs of all youth. This assessment gathers information such as: student’s interests, support systems, strengths, and coping skills.
- Leadership development
High school students interested in developing their leadership skills can participate in weekly enrichment days focusing on topics that include: teambuilding, decision making, healthy relationships, financial literacy, and college education.
- On-going case management services
Students and their families have access to comprehensive case management services that include: crisis intervention, advocacy, and assistance with community resources and referrals.
- Academic support
In addition to providing daily homework time during the after-school program, the cityWILD Support Services Team also develops relationships with students’ teachers, counselors, and school administrators in order to monitor students’ grades and test scores Also, these relationships allow cityWILD to: assist families in building bonds within the schools and advocate for their children as students. cityWILD helps improve students’ access to the resources necessary for academic success. For example, students’ can learn about college preparation and how to apply for scholarships. In 2006, cityWILD assisted its first two graduates in securing scholarships to cover tuition and books for college.
- Vocational development/internships
In order to participate in cityWILD’s Junior and Crew leadership programs, students also must participate in weekly enrichment meetings, where they learn leadership and job-readiness skills such as how to interview, how to create a resume, and financial literacy.
- Financial education
In partnership with the Mile High United Way, the, and The Daniels Fund, cityWILD students have the opportunity to open an Individual Development Account (IDA). By having an IDA, students learn not only how to save and budget their money, but they also learn about building assets. Eligible students can choose between two different accounts: Goal 2000, which provides account holders with a 1:1 match for every dollar they deposit and the Incentive Plan, which provides account holders with a 1:1 match for every dollar they deposit, in addition to being able to earn incentive dollars for reaching a variety of milestones.
High Needs Services
These services target students who are negatively impacted by either their experience, or their family’s experience, with a combination of stressors such as poverty, drugs, alcohol, violence, economic deprivation, gangs, racism and crime; while also having a lack of protective factors such as family support, educational resources, financial resources, adult role models, and structured recreational time. Students and families who demonstrate a need for more intensive services are assessed by cityWILD, helping them determine the most appropriate support that they need. cityWILD’s High Needs Services can include, but are not limited to:
- Intensive case management services
In order to increase a student’s success in cityWILD, at-home, in school, and in the community, social workers are available to meet with students on a weekly basis to fully assess their needs. Based on the needs identified, social workers may work with participating youth to create behavior contracts, provide psychosocial support, navigate legal systems, interface with social services, or coordinate support between other service providers, such as teachers, counselors, coaches, and therapists.
- Family Support
cityWILD recognizes that in order for youth to reach their full potential, family involvement is critical. The Support Services Team provides outreach to students’ families in order to build relationships that help link its programs with other resources in the community. This team frequently communicates with students’ families and tries to include them in any decisions regarding their children and to update them on their child’s progress. cityWILD also extends its services to families, providing emergency assistance, case management, and community referrals as necessary. In addition to support services, all cityWILD families are invited to join their children during After School Programs, Weekend Adventures, and Summer Expeditions. cityWILD also encourages family members to share their ideas and suggestions for improving programming. In addition, any family members who might be interested in participating in a cityWILD Parent Council can contact Nicole Todd at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Individual goal development
cityWILD understands that youth vary in their developmental stages, which can impact their ability to participate in experiential learning. In order to help all youth be successful, cityWILD will assess a student’s abilities and when necessary, will work with the student and family to create individual goals to help them become fully integrated in all aspects of cityWILD’s programs.
Crisis Services are defined as services that need immediate delivery in order to preserve the well-being and safety of the youth. Crisis Services can include, but are not limited to:
- Conflict resolution
cityWILD recognizes that occasionally conflict will arise between students. It is cityWILD’s expectation that students having conflict will engage in mediation in order to continue to participate actively in activities. cityWILD utilizes a model called VOMP, which allows all persons involved in a conflict to Vent, take Ownership of their part, exchange Moccasins, to imagine what it might be like to be in the other person’s shoes, and create a Plan to avoid conflict in the future.
- Suicide assessment
cityWILD’s Support Services Team is fully trained to assess students for the risk of suicide and to assess their level of safety if they identify feeling suicidal. If this situation arises, cityWILD’s Support Services Team is in contact with a student’s family to make the appropriate referrals.
- Emergency referrals
The Support Services Team is well versed in the resources available within the Denver community and equipped to make emergency referrals for students’ or families in need of assistance in areas such as housing, food, legal assistance, medical care, immigration, and social services.
- Abuse and Neglect reporting
The Support Services Team is comprised of social workers and social work students, all of whom are mandated reporters, required by law to report any suspicions of child abuse or neglect to the authorities.
Young Adult Services
cityWILD recognizes that youth who lack protective factors such as family support, educational resources, financial resources, adult role models, and structured recreational time, do not move through developmental milestones at the same pace as youth who live in supportive environments. Youth who do not have full access to critical resources often find it challenging to transition into adulthood. Based on this philosophy, cityWILD extends its supportive services to assist those youth who already have graduated from cityWILD’s core programming and provide them with capacity building Young Adult Services, which can include, but are not limited to:
- Vocational Development
Alumni students of cityWILD’s core programs have the opportunity to work with the Support Services Team to learn how to search for employment, complete applications, create a resume, and how to interview. By helping build these skills, cityWILD assists young adults to build their capacity to be independent adults.
- Housing Assistance
Young adults with minimal resources do no always have stable housing. Support Services Team assists these individuals by connecting them with various housing assistance programs in the Denver Metro area, helping ensure that they have access to stable, affordable housing.
- Academic Support
Once students graduate from high school, cityWILD helps them achieve their educational goals. Whether they want to attend a technical school, a community college, or a university, cityWILD’s Support Services Team assists these young adults by helping them research educational options, apply for schools, scholarships and financial aid, and provide on-going support once they are in school to help them be successful.
- Financial Education
In partnership with the Mile High United Way, foundations, local governments, local corporations, and federal government, cityWILD works with eligible young adults (18 years and older) to open an Adult Individual Development Account (IDA). Through these IDA’s, students learn not only how to save and budget their money, but they also learn about building assets. Eligible students can open up an Adult IDA account, which provides account holders with a 4:1 match for every dollar they deposit.