GENDER SPECIFIC PROGRAM
INDEPENDENT LIVING SKILLS


Developing basic and independent living skills is an essential part of the program. In addition to the responsibility of maintaining the cleanliness of their room, daily and weekly house cleaning chores are assigned by the youth advocates. Residents are also responsible for their personal laundry. Throughout the day residents are expected to use manners and develop upon social skills. During evening programming subject such as health education, life skills classes, character development and responsibility are taught.

Youth 16 and older or who are deemed to be PPLA will have a basic living skills assessment and plan created within 30 days from admission. This plan will then be evaluated every 90 days until discharge. The plan will note strengths and limitations and will be used to individualize the educational materials and subjects of concentration during each girls placement period. Youth residing at the GSP on a long term basis will be encouraged to gain employment. This will further develop their knowledge and test the skills previously learned in regard to employment and money management.

DESCRIPTION OF PROGRAMMING COMPONENTS

Quiet Time
This is considered our down time giving the girls time to regroup and catch up on unfinished work. Girls are to be in their rooms, reading, writing, talking quietly, or napping if they have all tasks completed. Guidelines are as follows:

  • You should use the restroom before quiet time begins.
  • No food or drink is permitted in your room, except water.
  • You are to be in your room with the door shut, reading, writing, talking quietly, or napping unless otherwise directed by staff.
  • If you need to use a computer you must ask the afternoon staff on duty. Do not get permission from day staff member who is finished with their shift.
  • You are not permitted to listen to the stereo or watch TV during this time. The only exception is if you need to watch videos for programming.

Study Time/Free Time
This part of the schedule takes place directly after evening programming subjects are completed (approximately 7:30). Before being dismissed for free time each child must report to the dining room with all homework, essay or research consequences and programmatic materials. Items must be completed in this order before earning free time: homework, programming, consequences. After completion of each of the three requirements staff must check them before you are permitted to move on to the next task. After completing all items you will be dismissed from study time so that you may have free time.

Free time occurs after study time is complete and is earned within the confines of the programs rules and regulations, particularly the level system. Once you earn your way up through the level system, you will be able to enjoy more spare time. Showers must be finished during this time. The staff will direct the girls to shower depending on need and level. During free time you may write letters, journal, do make-overs, listen to music, play games or have other privileges as decided by your service plan.

Goals Group
The girls, with assistance from staff, the teacher and the therapist, set individual goals to accomplish on a weekly basis. There are 3 sections on each goals grading sheet – school, GSP programming, and individual. Each child also has an individualized service plan stating goals to accomplish during her placement. When goals on the ISP are something that can be worked on daily, these goals are also added to the individual section of the grading sheet and are evaluated in goals group. Goals group occurs once a week and the goals are reviewed and revised to aid in continued growth in the program. Peers are encouraged to offer feedback. The youth earn rewards based on how well they score on their goals, including goal money and an activity in the community.

In addition to weekly goals that are evaluated during a group, each resident must set a behavioral goal every day. The goal is set in the morning and the girls should work to achieve their goal throughout the day. Failure to achieve this goal will be considered when the staff evaluate if the day has been earned.

Drug and Alcohol Education
All residents are required to participate in a group occurring once a week in which services are provided by Drug and Alcohol Counselor from Crossroads. Girls dealing with addiction are encouraged to attend AA/NA meetings weekly and to choose a sponsor.

Religious Participation
We provide scheduled opportunities to engage in religious worship. This area is optional. A child will be encouraged to participate in religious activities; however will not be coerced to do so. On Sunday mornings residents have the option of attending morning church services at the non-denominational Real Life Church in Morristown. Also once a week, volunteers from the community come in to lead a spirituality group. If a resident chooses not to participate, she will not be consequenced. She goes to her room for quiet time and can work on any assignments or just relax, however, is not permitted to sleep. If a youth has essays or programming to complete the staff may require them to do so during this time. Each child had the right to practice their own religious beliefs. Should the child wish to attend a service different from those provided we will in consultation with the parent or guardian make available any necessities requested by any parties involved to accommodate their choice of faith.

Community Activity
Activity eligibility is based on the grade earned in goals group as well as level status. Earning an A, B or C on goals earns the weekly activity. Typical activities include going to the movies, dining out, bowling, and seasonal events such as swimming, haunted houses, tree lightings. Activities vary from week to week. While on activity the youth have the opportunity to shop and spend their goal money.

Life Skills
Focuses on preparing the girls for life in the real world by creating a budget, filling out applications, doing mock interviews, lessons on proper cleaning, information about colleges and financial aid, income taxes, cooking and meal preparation, and first aid and self- defense.

Women In History
Each week the girls must watch a video from our Time Life Women In History collection, Lifetime Intimate Portraits Series, or A&E Biographies. One girl will then write a one page paper on what they have learned from these incredible women and distribute it to the group. The assignment will rotate weekly.

Self Esteem
GSP staff will conduct a weekly group called Taking Active Charge Of Your Life using the Everything Self-Esteem book and various motivational and skill building activities. Subject matter includes topics such as: setting and achieving personal goals, assertiveness versus aggressiveness, positive self-talk, and values development. An outside group leader conducts a weekly meeting in which girls are assisted in working out internal and external conflicts and build positive coping skills which contribute to an increase in self-worth.

Health Education
This group is to educate and promote healthy living. Topics include: abstinence, Sexually Transmitted Disease education and prevention, nutrition, proper hygiene, and womens health concerns such as Breast Cancer and Endometriosis.

Manners & Social Skills
One girl teaches this area each week using resources from the library, handouts, and visual aides. Possible subjects include table manners, appropriate attire, and behavior in social ceremonies like funeral, and weddings.

Character Values/Resiliency
Helps girl look at their behavior to see how the choices they make have negative or positive consequences designed to build on girls strengths and develop resiliency as they face the inevitable challenges of their teenage years.

Theme of the Month
Each month a different topic is chosen that is pertinent to the issues surrounding the group. Some subject matter are as follows: domestic violence and familial patterns of behavior, driving safety, dangers of drugs and alcohol, coping skills and tactics and abstinence. At the end of the month a guest who specializes in the subject is invited to speak. If a speaker is unavailable, the girls engage in an activity.

Movie with a Message
Each week the group watches a movie with an uplifting or positive message. Staff will lead a discussion after the film to reinforce the message it was trying to convey.

Library
Once a week the group will go to the local library to get resources for school reports, programming assignments and for personal reading.

Community Speakers & Tours
Twice a month a guest is invited to speak to the girls about various topics and life experiences. These guests are often women who have overcome great obstacles in their personal or professional lives. Representatives from local agencies and businesses come to educate the girls about local resources that are available to them. The girls are encouraged to ask questions and be polite.

During the weeks when a speaker is not scheduled the girls are given the opportunity to tour local areas of significance. Some tours include local colleges, possible employment areas, local TV stations and newspaper, parks, recycling centers and historical sites.

Community Service
Community service is a program component that is required as indicated on the service plans. At least once a week the girls are required to volunteer at a local nursing home, to pack food baskets for families in need, Adopt-A-Highway project, outside beatification projects, or make quilts for terminally ill children. This area teaches responsibility as well as giving them the feeling of being an active member of the community and brightening someones day.


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