Methodist Home for Children operates the Vocational Training program in a successful public-private partnership with NC Division of Adult Correction and Juvenile Justice and local Juvenile Crime Prevention Councils.
The program, called WORK4IT, is a cost-effective, short-term program that helps at-risk teens and their families build skills they need for independence and success.
- Ages 14–17
- At risk for out-of-home placement or re-entering community after a period of confinement at Youth Development Centers or group home
- Referred by court counselors
- Motivated to learn independent living skills and work toward goals
- Youth and their family receive four to six months of hands-on services at home, job site, churches or community centers
Two to three times a week, meet with MHC staff to work toward goals:
- Improve social skills by identifying strengths and deficits, role-playing
- Build respect for authority figures and rules
- Avoid high-risk behaviors (substance abuse, gang activity)
- Improve school attendance, behavior and overall performance
- Earn a GED or high school diploma
- Enroll in a certificate program at local community college, if appropriate.
- Complete career assessment and explore career options
- Develop jobs skills through training (earning minimum wage)
- Learn to apply for jobs, practice interviewing techniques
- Qualify for job-site assignments with pay
Learn purpose, goals and expectations of the program at parent orientation
As needed, meet with MHC staff to work toward goals.
- Improve communication skills
- Learn to set limits and expectations, how to plan and schedule
- Work on problem-solving and anger-management issues
- Access available resources to strengthen family functioning
- Help with transportation to and from work
- Support youth’s efforts in the program and related activities
- Learn purpose, goals and expectations of the program at business orientation
- Provide a challenging learning environment for the youth
- Assign a mentor to work with the teen and evaluate all work products/services
- Provide feedback on strengths and areas to be improved