In 2008, Marrakech was awarded the DCF Community Based Life Skills (CBLS) program for Metro New Haven and Greater New Haven. CBLS provides certification in Life Skills to youth in the foster care system who are 15 years of age or older. The program utilizes the Ansell Casey Life Skills curriculum, which includes an introductory life skills assessment and a combination of experiential learning approaches (www.caseylifeskills.com).
In addition to the self-assessment, primary caregivers or other adults involved in the youths’ lives are requested to take part in a matching assessment of the youth’s life skills. Once assessed, a program consisting of a minimum of 100 hours is designed for the youth that covers classroom time, individual time and community-based services over a span of 12 months.
The life skills curriculum includes the following domains: educational/vocational planning, career planning, communication, daily living, home life, housing and money management, self care, social relationships, work life, work and study skills and parenting when applicable. Primary caregivers are engaged in the program and are encouraged to carry over the skills taught in the classroom to the home environment.
Upon completion of the program, youth participate in a graduation ceremony, receive completion certificates and earn up to $125.00 (based on attendance and participation). The youth are also provided a modest stipend for each hour of classroom time that they complete. This program is designed for youth who do not need or cannot commit to the more comprehensive Work to Learn program, but who do require the life skills development to transition successfully from foster care to independence.
Together, the Work to Learn program and Community Based Life Skills Program serve approximately 115 youth at any given time and up to 150 youth in the course of a year. That is about 11.5% of the total Marrakech consumer base. While that is still a fairly small portion, it growing every year. Marrakech is a youth services provider!
If you want to learn more about the Work to Learn program or and Community Based Life Skills Program, please contact Gerry Zarra at (203) 389-2970, extension 1303 or email@example.com.