One of the services that are offered by staff on the Prevention Team at Helping Services is Youth Connections, which is a curriculum-based support group. The Youth Connections program is an effective, evidence-based, preventive antidote for youth whose high-risk situations, attitudes, and behaviors place them at an elevated risk for future substance use, delinquency, and violence. Prevention staff are trained to facilitate the Youth Connections program curriculum delivered through a support group format. Youth meet in confidential, small group settings and are taught a set of essential life skills to help them learn how to: cope with difficult family situations, resist negative peer pressure, respect others, set and achieve goals, make healthy choices, and refuse alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs.
Youth Connections has the potential to reduce the negative lifelong effects triggered by adverse childhood experiences. There is much focus on creating meaningful connections and building positive futures. Staff worked with school counselors and teachers through the last school year to identify which students could most benefit from going through the program. Focusing on 4th and 5th grade students, staff reached 87 youth this last school year with the curriculum in five counties served. For more information on Youth Connections contact Jenny Rose: firstname.lastname@example.org or call 563-387-1720.