San Diego CA— Bank of America has awarded $12,500 to the San Diego Center for Children’s Successful Transitions© Program to address the gap of services and case-management for transition age youth, ages 15 – 21, suffering from mental, emotional and behavioral disorders during their transition to adulthood.
The San Diego Center for Children, founded in 1887, is the oldest children’s nonprofit in San Diego. The Center provides therapeutic care, specialized education and critical life skills to more than 1,000 children and families across eight program sites and in hundreds of homes throughout the region. As a leader in helping children and families address their mental health challenges, the Center recognized a long-standing need in our community for increased support for transition age youth.
The Center developed the Successful Transitions© Program to help transition age youth create a comprehensive and personalized plan for their future that helps build skills and the community connections they need to achieve their goals and well-being. Youth receive tools, individualized coaching and support, and hands-on training to help them implement their goals in the areas of education, job and career, independent living skills, housing, health and mental health.
“The important care and services provided by the San Diego Center for Children for teens at a critical early time in their lives can help get them on path to mental, behavioral and eventually financial stability,” said Rick Bregman, San Diego market president, Bank of America. “Addressing health and other basic needs helps remove barriers to success.”
Mental, emotional and behavioral health disorders affect 1 in 5 youth in San Diego. These challenges impact a youth’s ability to manage emotions, communicate with others, cope with various stressors, plan for the future, and can be detrimental if not treated early on especially before becoming independent adults.
There are approximately 100,000 at-risk youth, ages 15-24, throughout San Diego. This population includes foster youth and other youth who are experiencing serious mental health challenges, all of whom are highly susceptible to becoming part of concerning societal problems – homelessness, school dropout rates, unemployment, chronic mental illness, drug and alcohol abuse and interaction with the criminal justice system – and relying on social services and public assistance programs.
To ensure long-term success, the Center has developed an online platform for youth to use during their time in the program, providing youth the ability to share their plan and progress with family members, coaches, providers and other resources, while also receiving coaching and guidance real-time via chat and/or video.
The Center’s Successful Transitions© Program served 90 transition age youth in its pilot year. Of the youth that completed the program, 88% secured housing, education or employment, and necessary adult services upon completion. The Center’s goal is to serve 120 transition age youth in 2018, 180 youth in 2019, and 250 youth in 2020. Numbers may also increase as partnerships solidify with other organizations serving this population.