Upon arrival at the shelter, each resident’s needs are evaluated and an individual case plan is created as the first step of their shelter care. Always considering their unique strengths, needs and abilities, counselors design each resident a personalized plan for individual, group, family and aftercare counseling. From the outset of their residency, counselors encourage youth to start working toward a healthy, successful exit from the shelter.
Knowing that many of our residents have faced overwhelming crises, Casa Youth Shelter counselors approach every therapy session with 5 key elements in mind:
- Safety (This includes creating a space where our residents feel culturally, emotionally, and physically safe as well as an awareness of their individual discomfort or unease.)
We provide residents with one-on-one individual counseling services approximately three times per week. In individual counseling, residents are given the opportunity to identify stressors in their lives; they develop healthy coping skills and strengthen resiliency.
Youth in crisis often feel a sense of isolation, as if they are the only person on earth who has experienced a struggle. Group counseling at Casa Youth Shelter breaks down the barriers of isolation and engages residents in a supportive community. Group sessions focus on topics relevant to youth, empowering participants through open communication and guided discussions. Topics include:
- Recovery from physical, sexual, and/or mental abuse
- Substance abuse
- Teen pregnancy prevention
- Developing self-esteem
- Anger management/assertion training
- Developing communication skills
Supplemental Care Groups are also an important part of counseling; they encourage creative expression, teach valuable life skills and improve educational outcomes. Groups include:
- Art therapy
- Computer literacy
- Drum circle
- Express Through Play
- Life skills
- Music classes
- Pet therapy
- Reading skills
- Sand tray therapy
Since the goal of Casa Youth Shelter’s Residential Shelter Care Program is a cohesive, healthy, productive family unit, all families are strongly encouraged to participate in counseling. Critical to successful family reunification, family counseling provides a safe and structured place for dialog between youth and parents. Counselors promote an open and honest line of communication between family members and provide tools for ongoing crisis mitigation.
Upon exit from Casa Youth Shelter, residents and their families can participate in aftercare counseling. Typically available for three months, aftercare counseling provides an opportunity for youth and families to reinforce goals set during residency, address issues that arise after reunification, and strengthen their ability to work together in creating a safe and enriching home environment. In addition, case management services are available throughout aftercare.