2013 Grants Challenge

Parent and Child Training Program

Roosevelt High School is quite possibly one the largest high school in the country with a student body of approximately 5,000 students. It is located in the Boyle Heights area of the City of Los Angeles. The school is known for having violent incidents on campus and students report that they often do not feel safe at school. Boyle Heights is also home to many gangs. While there are local programs such as the Gang Reduction and Youth Development Program that have made some progress, the teens continue to be exposed to various risk factors that might lead to gang affiliation including but not limited to poor parental supervision, negative peer influences, substance use, tagging crews and underlying mental health issue which often are undiagnosed. With the increase in violence and gun violence in schools in this country, this project proposes to provide a 20-week group family sessions in an effort to preventing future violence. The Parent and Child Training Program will raise parent’s awareness of risk factors, warning signs and behaviors that might indicate more serious issues. This program falls under the Prevention and Early Intervention model by providing parents and youth with coping skills as a way of prevention potential incarcerations, school failure or dropout, prolonged suffering, legal problems and removal of children from their homes. These 20-week sessions will be provided to both parents and their children simultaneously. Parents and Youth will meet at the School Site and then break into their two groups which will be lead by their respective group facilitators. At the end of each group discussion a meal will be provided where parents and youth will engage together in a family activity aimed at promoting family bonding, modeling the use of appropriate relational skills and reinforcing concepts introduced during instructional groups. A violence reduction and behavioral modification curriculum will be used to assist youth to identify the roots of violence, how to prevent violent outbursts, increasing their awareness of the connections between alcohol/drugs and violence and ultimately develop better interpersonal and problem solving skills. In other words, teens will discuss a range of topics aimed at increasing their analytical skills, ability to integrate what they learn in real life and learn how to work collaboratively. Simultaneously, a diverse set of problem-solving skills and interventions will be introduced, modeled and role-played with parents. Group instruction will also make way for parents to share their personal struggles, parenting styles and interventions. This Projects’ outcomes include but are not limited to: Projected Outcomes: • Improvement in the quality of the parent-child relationship • Improvement in parenting skills, including positive discipline • Improvement in parent's attitude about parenting • Improvement in the youth’s behavior at home, at school and with peers • Improvement in parents’ self esteem and confidence over their parenting skills • Reduction in risk of child abuse This program will be open for Students from Roosevelt High school and their parents/caregivers. This project is aligned with the ongoing development of a “Super Highway” of services between Roosevelt High School and The Wellness Center at the Historic General Hospital currently being developed by Supervisor Gloria Molina’s office. Alma Family Services will connect students and their families (when appropriate) to additional services provided at the Wellness Center set to open between May and July, 2013. Alma Family Services will be able to screen project participants’ needs and link these individuals/families to the various organizations providing services at the Wellness Center. Safety discussions and interventions will be related to the improvement of the school climate at Roosevelt High School as well as the Boyle Heights community at large.


What are some of your organization’s most important achievements to date?

Alma Family Services was established in 1975 in East Los Angeles by parents to provide, along with other purposes, a comprehensive range of multilingual community based services for those with special needs including emotional, physical and/or developmental delay and their families.

• Alma Family Services’ mission speaks to our commitment to improve the quality of life for members of our communities. This often means advocating for at risk children and families. Alma’s dedication goes beyond providing culturally competent services and supports and integrates our history of helping to develop and support healthy communities through collaborative community relationships. Alma’s approach is strength-based, community centered and child and family focused. Individuals and families are understood to be multi-dimensional with strengths as well unique needs.

• School-Based/Linked Services: Alma Family Services has been providing school-based Prevention and Early Intervention services for over ten (10) years. School-based counseling, individual and family psychotherapy, groups and case management services are being provided at many school within several school districts including Montebello Unified School District (MUSD), El Rancho Unified School District and the Los Angeles Unified School Districts.

• Gang Reduction Youth Development (GRYD) Program: Alma Family Services has been operating a gang prevention program through a contract with the City of Los Angeles since 2009 or four (4) years. The GRYD program includes an array of services such as a comprehensive case management, parenting classes, individual and family counseling, leadership development, youth mentoring, violence prevention training, substance use/abuse awareness and gang-prevention training.

Alma Family Services has been recognized at the State, County and City Level for its commitment in delivering high quality services.

Please identify any partners or collaborators who will work with you on this project.

LAUSD, Roosevelt High School, The Wellness Center at the Historic General Hospital agency partners and the Department of Mental Health (DMH).

Please explain how you will evaluate your project. How will you measure success?

Alma will measure progress towards goals of this project through participant surveys, track attendance and closely monitor and document each activity of the project to assure that objectives and deliverables are completed according to plan. At enrollment, each student and parent will be interviewed by a case manager who will collaboratively identify goals to be met at the end of the project. 2-3 Behavioral goals will be identify for each student and each parents regarding their academic/social functioning as well as the parent-child relationship. Goals will be reviewed with students and parents individually after 10 weeks and once again at the end of the project. Students will be linked to academic enrichment and recreational activities as way to utilize pro-social skills introduced by this project. Student’s school attendance and report cards will be collected at the beginning and at the end of the program. Case Manager will also collaborate others involved with the student/family such as the school counselor, probation officer and DCFS social worker (if applicable) in order to identify target risk factors that must be further address beyond the group instruction. Surveys will be provided to case workers involved with student/family if applicable.

How will your project benefit Los Angeles?

• This project can be replicated throughout Los Angeles once proven effective at Roosevelt High School. Alma Family Services’ knowledge and track record using different Evidence Based Practices and other Prevention and Early Intervention models has led to significant reduction of risk factors that might lead to violent behavior. Implementation of this program will directly affect Roosevelt High School and the community at large by addressing the roots of violence. Several studies have indicated that violence leads to truancy, lower educational attainment and thus lower level jobs. Also, the psychoemotional and financial cost of violence in schools to poorer families is high, affecting their ability to escape the poverty trap. This project aims at reducing youth’s arrests for crimes including vandalism, trespassing, and tagging. Primary and secondary prevention programs have the potential to generate systemic change. Students will be encouraged to practice cooperation and show responsibility towards their own school and community. Family engagement is critical to promote student achievement. Successful students are more likely to become productive citizens and contribute with their community, the City and County of Los Angeles.

What would success look like in the year 2050 regarding your indicator?

Each school in Los Angeles should implement programs aimed at promoting family engagement, improving school readiness and reducing risk factors that might lead to violence. Our hope is that increasing parental participation in their children’s social and academic lives can become a priority for our schools. It is true that schools alone cannot meet all their student’s needs, specially the needs of students with psycho-emotional issues and/or families dealing with multiple stressors. By facilitating parents’ access to existing networks of service providers, schools will be able to empower these caregivers to take charge of their children’s overall functioning and development. That begins with educating parents on the importance of supporting their children and becoming more involved with the school, community and the different systems of care capable of contributing to students’ success. Educators, parents and community members will be able to build a common understanding of each person’s role in helping students meet academic and social expectations and help students meet their goals.