Advocates for Children, Catersville, GA

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Independent Living Program Advocates for Children

Organization: Advocates for Children – Catersville, GA
Program Name: Independent Living
  • Flowering Branch Children’s Shelter
  • Independent Living Program RHY
Curricula Used: Love Notes 2.1
Curricula Benefits: Love Notes is well organized and makes it easy for the facilitator to have a guide for addressing important topics. The material is  realistic according to the youth and meets them where they are with life skills connected to building healthy relationships.
Target Audience: The youth that are served at Flowering Branch Children’s Shelter, in the Independent Living Program are seeking shelter for a variety of reasons. They may be vulnerable and traumatized youth who may be homeless, aging out of the foster care system.
Audience  Demographics: The youth in the Independent Living Program range from 14-18. There are both males and females, some youth that identify as LGBTQ, and a wide range of ethnicities and all vulnerable and experiencing trauma.
Class size: Class size range from 6-8 youth
Location of instruction: Classes are held at the Flowering Branch Children’s Shelter.
Length of instruction (number of sessions & hours per session): Classes meet Sundays for 60 minutes at least twice a month until all 13 lessons are delivered. Other life skills are also taught on some Sundays (cooking car maintance, etc).
Instructor Training Protocol: The facilitator uses the Instructor Manual for preparation and reference during delivery.

The power points inparticular are helpful for staying on track and coincide with the instructor manual. The activity cards are a convenient and sustainable resource.

The youth enjoy the activites as it makes the information relatable and applicable. An example is the “Red Flag Warning” activity in the Dangerous Love lesson about dating violence.

The trusted adult activity at the end of every lesson is used to help youth understand:

  1. they are in a safe place
  2. the adults are there to hear them
Utilization of teacher and student materials: The student workbooks are used by each student in the Independent Living Program.

It is used to make the learning personal and for reflection on what they learned.

It is also an opportunity for facilitator, Human Service Professional (Shelter Case Manager) to identify needs that should be addressed.

Incentives to teachers and students: Incentives are given for those in the Independent Living Program – certificate upon completion which can be included on their work resume.
Tips: Tips for those who are starting to use Love Notes are:

  1. Review the lessons several times before classes so you know the material and can keep the class engaging.
  2. Be aware of the youth’s individual needs and what they’ve been through.
  3. Be sensitive.