Drueding Center staff partner with our families to find solid ground, helping mothers gain the skills and confidence that are the foundation for their future independence and showing their children that success is possible in their lives. Hope for the future, a most precious commodity for these families, begins to emerge and gradually becomes real and attainable.
Meeting the many needs of our families ― who have suffered trauma and still face daunting odds on the path to independence ― calls for comprehensive services.
Intensive Case Management: Every family has a Family Advocate, who works with the family to set and reach goals around housing, education, employment, health, and life skills, as part of a detailed Family Service Plan. Each Plan is specific to a family’s challenges, strengths, needs, concerns, and outside support, and follows a realistic timeline. The Advocate coordinates a Family Team, including a therapist, youth advocate and representatives from Education & Community Services and Youth Services, to work with the family to monitor progress, offer encouragement, and review the Plan monthly and revise it quarterly.
Empowerment is key to our work with families. Whenever possible, we replace rules and regulations with responsibilities and expectations.
Since money management and fiscal responsibility are essential skills, every family contributes 20% of their net monthly income to a savings account that is pooled to maintain Department of Public Welfare eligibility and 30% of their net monthly income for utilities and maintenance costs in the Residential Program. Drueding Center also directs these resources to pay down families’ utilities debt, a common barrier to living independently.
Clinical Counseling: Trauma can never go away, but skill and time can start the healing process. Drueding Center’s two therapists focus on children’s issues and adult issues, respectively. Our therapists offer:
- Individual adult therapy
- Individual therapy for children (ages three and up)
- Family therapy
- Group therapy for adults in specific areas, such as our relationship group, stress release group, etc.
Many of the children we reach cannot recognize emotions and deal appropriately with conflict. To better serve them, Drueding Center therapists and childcare staff are trained in the nationally recognized PATHS® (Promoting Alternative Thinking Strategies) curriculum. Therapists conduct weekly PATHS® activity groups, backed up by teacher-led activities, to promote emotional and social competencies, reduce aggression and behavior problems and help children from preschool through elementary school become more receptive learners.
Trauma Informed Services: According to the National Center on Family Homelessness, 92% of homeless mothers have experienced sexual or physical violence in their lifetime and homeless children suffer from emotional or behavioral problems that interfere with learning at almost three times the rate of other children. Drueding Center provides Trauma Informed Services designed to deliver care in a way that acknowledges the role that trauma plays in the lives of our families.
Youth Advocate: The Youth Advocate participates on the Family Team and works directly with each child in the Residential Program. A developmental screening, Ages & Stages, is conducted for every child under the age of five within 30 days of move-in and referrals, with follow-up services as needed. The Youth Advocate is the primary liaison with the local school for enrollment and trouble-shooting, ensuring that each child receives all entitlements prescribed through federal mandates. The Advocate also coordinates the residential library, literacy, and Early Head Start programs for resident families.
During evening hours, Drueding Center hosts two volunteer-run, staff-supervised tutoring programs, Homework Club and Homework Helpers.
Homework Club, a drop-in program for students who need assistance with their homework, meets Mondays through Thursdays from 6:30 to 8:00 p.m. in the Residential Learning Center.
Homework Helpers deepens the connections tutors make with our children by pairing an individual tutor and child for weekly private sessions in the study lounges of our Residential Building. Tutor and child meet once a week, from 7:00 to 8:15 p.m. for a minimum of 3 months. The program’s success often results in visible improvement on the next report card.