Wedgwood's CORE Prevention Services have set our organization apart as the leader in West Michigan. These publically funded programs are well known and respected by many area school districts, and the numbers prove it. We conduct 300 groups a year in school, community centers, churches, and judicial departments.
Our goal is to strengthen our youth and community by developing internal and external assets that increase kids' resiliency and put them on the path to a bright future. We understand that family support and involvement are crucial to this process.
Includes parent focus groups and parent nights that offer education and fellowship
Movies in the Park
During summer months, Wedgwood hosts movie nights in community parks throughout the county. The evening focus is to bring families together for a pro-social family event that provides the opportunity to transfer knowledge about youth trends and issues, and to share information with parents to help them create a healthy environment in their homes that support youth in making healthy choices. Families receive a "drive home" question and answer card to encourage discussion between family members about concepts from the film, including overcoming obstacles to making healthy decisions, the role of encouragement and healthy friendships.
Wedgwood chairs the Coalition on Adolescent Choices and Health (COACH) whose mission is to encourage youth and teens to make healthy life choices and to promote abstinence from sexual activity, alcohol, tobacco, and other drug use.
Kent County Prevention Coalition
This goal of this coalition is a healthier community for all served by a substance abuse prevention system that fills gaps in services, focuses resources and funds, and reduces overlap. To create and sustain an organized, connected, strategic, inclusive substance abuse prevention system by: holding the system accountable to outcomes; implementing a data driven planning process; including diverse community participants in the planning process; making collaborative/shared decisionsproviding culturally competent prevention services; and,utilizing flexible and coordinated resources.
Sexual Risk Avoidance
A quality approach to abstinence education that considers the whole person. Program elements include decision making, setting goals, discussions on the influence of alcohol and other drugs, STIs, teen pregnancy, healthy relationships and waiting for sex until marriage. Programming includes parental involvement. Wedgwood facilitates this program for middle and high school students, and through experiential curriculum using WAIT training.
Substance Abuse Prevention Education:
We are presently facilitating ATOD (Alcohol, tobacco and other drugs) prevention-education groups in Kent County Schools, in the court system, and in multiple community centers and churches throughout Kent County.
Botvin Life Skills Curriculum
This curriculum is used with middle and high school aged youth. These groups of youth meet for 15 sessions. Many of these groups are facilitated in alternative high schools or in the court system.
This program, provided through a new contract with Network 180, is a school-based substance abuse prevention and early intervention program that places highly trained prevention specialists in the schools who work with adolescents individually and in small groups; conduct large group prevention/education discussions and programs; train and consult on prevention issues with school staff; coordinate the substance abuse services and policies of the school and refer and follow-up with students and families needing substance abuse treatment or mental health services in the community.
Student Employability Skills Training
Learn to Earn
This program is specifically designed to offer high-risk Kent County youth (12-18 yrs old) the opportunity to increase their employability skills through education, hands-on skills training and real-life work experiences.
Youth will participate in 12-15 sessions of interactive learning in order to enhance their employability skills. Groups are held at centralized locations in the community. Transportation is provided and youth receive a small stipend upon completion of the program.
Group topics include:
- Commuication/assertiveness skills
- Dealing with stress, anger and conflict in the workplace
- Decision making
- Goal setting
- Managing finances
- Self esteem and personal care
- Social skill development
Identified youth will be offered the support of a Job Coach for 4-6 months as they seek out and maintain employment in the community.
Support services offered by the Job Coach include:
- Ongoing skill development and education through one-on-one meetings or small group opportunities
- Career exploration through interest inventories and job shadowing experiences
- Ongoing communication with employers to ensure successful work experiences
- Weekly contact with participating youth to educate, advocate and support.
For more information about Wedgwood's CORE Prevention Programs, call 616.942.7294.