(Venango County Youth Succeeds Against all Odds)
*Paula had the ‘deck stacked against her’ since childhood. She was involved with the foster care system at a young age and experienced very little success or stability in placements and foster care homes throughout her childhood. Now seventeen, she was deemed as a high-risk youth, involved with both Juvenile Justice and Child Welfare agencies.
The repeated traumatic events in Paula’s life contributed to repeated poor decisions consisting of substance abuse, negative peer associations, criminal activity, and teen pregnancy. Her young life was spiraling out of control, and just too difficult for her to face on her own.
Enter the JusticeWorks YouthCare VIP® program! In collaboration with Venango County, Paula was referred to our VIP® program to avoid one more future placement and further system involvement.
Since working with the VIP® Program, Paula resides with her grandparents, who are supportive. She has been receiving help with her pregnancy (i.e., medical appointments, nutrition counseling, and parenting classes). Paula is also involved with various community support programs, such as ABC Life, to help guide her and ensure a safe, healthy pregnancy.
She enrolled in the IU5 GED Program and completed the summer classes. She is moving forward with her GED fall course work! Her educational achievements are helping her self-esteem and confidence.
She is working diligently to pay off court costs and fines. In partnership with her VIP® case manager, Olivia Green, she is consistently completing community service hours.
Paula has appreciated Olivia’s coaching and mentorship as she transitions to a new chapter in her life. Olivia helped Paula identify and prioritize action steps to achieve each milestone to thrive in life. Paula realized that to heal, she needed mental health counseling to help come to terms with the trauma that she endured throughout childhood. She has taken steps to begin this journey. Paula has been doing her best to acquire the skills she will need to live independently and care for her baby.
Paula acknowledged that without the support of JusticeWorks and Olivia, she would not have been able to reach her goals or take advantage of unique opportunities.
Violation Initiative Program (VIP®)
The goals of the Violation Initiative Program (VIP®) are twofold. The first goal is to enhance the juvenile justice system’s capacity to achieve its mission by incorporating research-informed practices with fidelity at every stage of the juvenile justice process – from assessment to discharge. The use of validated assessment tools, cognitive-behavioral interventions, performance measures, and family engagement leads to better outcomes. The second goal is to reduce detention and placement rates and to divert youth from further system involvement. Outcome studies have demonstrated VIP®’s ability to prevent detention and placement while promoting positive behavior within the community.
VIP® is a community-based, family-centered model that requires equal measures of support and supervision. It can be adjusted according to the risk level and the needs of the individual participant.
At JusticeWorks, we utilize the ‘No Wrong Door’ approach. We recognize that each child is unique with unique needs, requiring long-term support through a unique door. We create an environment where all youth from any background can do their best work. We are thankful that the VIP® service was helpful in Paula’s life. We look forward to hearing more about Paula’s future accomplishments!
*Name has been changed.