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Youth Supports

Adolescent College Mentoring

This program is designed to improve educational equity and college graduation rates for youth who have experienced the foster care system. This service offers youth an array of services to support their post-secondary educational, career and social-emotional goals. Services are based on a four-domain framework that includes: academic mentoring, career development, advocacy, and alumni networking supports.

Career Enhancement Training

This service is designed to develop job-related learning opportunities in collaboration with the Touchstone School staff and faculty. This learning complements the formal academic program about career skills. Career enhancement training focuses on areas such as customer service, office support, personal finance, computer-aided design, manufacturing principles, allied health opportunities, and career skills.  

Education Training Voucher Program

This is a statewide service for the purpose of distributing funds provided through the Supporting Foster Youth and Families through the Pandemic Act (Division X of P.L. 116-260). This Act provides Education Training Voucher (ETV) funding to assist youth who had been on track to attend or were attending post-secondary institutions or programs but had their education interrupted due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The funding is to be used to support and engage youth to explore when and how they can reconnect to their educational goals. Additionally, funding may also be used for expenses that are not part of the cost of school attendance, such as laptops or other technology necessary for virtual education; earbuds/earphones; desks; chairs; supplies; and tools for internet access.

Juvenile Review Board

This service creates community based Juvenile Review Boards, i.e., panels of community volunteers, who recommend services that are then implemented in order to divert, from the juvenile justice system. The service builds relationships among community service providers and interested adults and empowering them to take responsibility for the well-being of the youth of the community. Referrals come from schools and police.

START Program for Youth and Young Adults

Provides an array of services for youth ages 16-24 who are homeless or at-risk of homelessness. Services will include outreach and survival supports for homeless youth or youth who have unstable housing as well as provide housing for youth for up to two years with intensive case management support.

Supported Independent Living (SIL)

This service is a community-based stand alone, staffed apartment program that serves adolescents, age 16 and older, who are committed to DCF. The program focuses primarily on the developmental issues associated with the acquisition of independent living skills, such as inter-personal awareness; community awareness and engagement; knowledge and management of medical conditions; and maximization of: 1) education, 2) vocation, and 3) community integration. There is 24/7 on-site supervision. Activities involving resident youth are supervised and managed at a level consistent with the nature of the activity and the individual needs of the involved youth.

Survivor Care

An intensive community-based program designed to help youth and their families/caregivers understand, respond to, and recover from the impact of human trafficking/commercial sexual exploitation (HT/CSE) victimization. This program provides Long-Term Therapeutic Case Management services including but not limited to information and referral services, crisis intervention and safety planning, individual counseling, and advocacy and accompaniment to medical, law enforcement, court, and academic appointments. The program also offers Rapid Responses which are one-time interventions that provide children and caretakers with information, safety planning, and referral services related to HT/CSE.

Transitional Supports for Emerging Adults

This service assists Emerging Adults (“EA” or “young adult”) with securing suitable and stable housing, completing vocational and/or educational programs, obtaining sustainable employment, developing and maintaining loving, supportive, and permanent adult relationships, and developing the necessary life skills to successfully transition from DCF services. The Youth Villages Lifeset program utilizes evidence-based practices (EBPs) and best-practice interventions to support high-risk young people in their transition to adulthood.

Wendy’s Wonderful Kids

This service is an evidence-based, child-focused model that has demonstrated positive outcomes regarding adoptions of DCF children in the following specialized groups: older children, children with specialized needs, and sibling groups.

Work / Learn Youth Program

This is a youth educational/vocational program providing supportive services to assist youth ages 14-23 to successfully transition into adulthood. The program provides training and services in the following areas: employment skills, financial literacy, life skills, personal and community connections, physical and mental health, and housing. Youth also have the opportunity to take part in on-site, youth-run businesses.

Youth Empowerment

This multi -service program will engage non DCF involved at risk youth in the greater Bridgeport area in a wide array of services, supports, trainings, and recreational activities for youth. The target population for this program are at risk, low-income youth ages 13-18 living in the greater Bridgeport area.

Youth Link Mentoring

Youth Link Mentoring is defined as a supportive long-term relationship with a caring adult who has attributes and qualities in common with LGBTQIA+ adolescents which may include gender identity, gender expression, race, and ethnicity.

To find the best service match for a child’s needs, use the AIM Tool.