Heart Foundation

Call us:1 716-834-0080

Community-Based Programs   

Vocational, Education & Employment Programs

STEPs (Steps To Employment Preparation) PROGRAM 

HEART, in partnership with the Latino Coalition, offers STEPS (Steps To Employment this program to serve young adult (ages 18 to 24) offenders and high school dropouts in the City of Buffalo. The goal of the program is to improve the long-term employment prospects. of at-risk and justice-involved youth living in, or returning to high-crime, high-poverty communities in Buffalo, NY. STEPS provides an opportunity to develop marketable employment skills, earn certifications in recognized certificate programs, and receive practical on the job training.

With funding from the U.S. Department of Labor's Employment and Training Administration (ETA) and managed by the Latino Coalition STEPS will prepare program participants for success in the labor market by providing comprehensive, individualized case management services linked to workforce development and educational interventions, supports, and training programs. Participants receive intensive case management including skill assessments, abilities and aptitude, the development of an individualized service plan, goal setting for educational gains, career planning and identification of barriers preventing youth from advancement.

Participants will also receive mentoring support and participate in community service projects that support civic engagement. All participants are connected to the resources necessary to move forward towards obtaining an educational credential, developing a work ready skill, or becoming employed.

STEPS will serve approximately 300 high school drop outs and ex-offenders aged 18 - 24. STEPS will offer the following program components within a culture of safety, service, and life-long learning:

  • Workforce development: career assessments and planning, soft skill development, digital literacy training and Career and Technical Education (CTE) training programs that lead to industry-recognized certifications;
  • Education: an individualized and accelerated pathway to reach graduation or diploma equivalency using academic assessments and planning, robust academic supports, and effective teaching strategies including contextual and blended learning approaches and literacy training;
  • Case management: comprehensive, intensive case management that identifies youth needs and develops individualized supports;
  • Mentoring: one-on-one and small group mentoring consistent with the evidence-based standards of recruitment, screening, training, matching, monitoring and support, and closure;
  • Restorative justice: service learning projects that embrace the three goals of the Balanced and Restorative Justice model: accountability, public safety, and competency;
  • Community-wide efforts to reduce crime and violence: collaboration with communities and system officials to assess and reduce community violence.

Why STEPS?

  • In an economy that demands a highly sophisticated and educated workforce, young adults who are high school drop-outs and/or leaving the justice system often struggle academically and lack both the soft and technical skills needed to compete for a shrinking pool of jobs.
  • Ex-offenders and high school drop-outs also commonly present with needs across multiple life domains, such as education, employment, health care, mental health, substance abuse, peer and family relations, and housing that impair their ability to participate in the workforce. These needs are further complicated for young adults removed from their community and social supports during the key developmental phase of adolescence and placed in a facility (prison).
  • To establish a foundation for labor market success, STEPS will identify each young adult's academic strengths and challenges and develop an individualized and accelerated pathway to reach diploma equivalency and/or higher education. In addition, to aid in the overall well-being of its participants, STEPS will provide case management in a trauma-informed setting and other supports, such as mentoring, proven to be effective in improving adolescent self-efficacy and social competence and reducing problem behavior.
  • In addition to improving the long-term employment prospects of its participants, STEPS  aims to strengthen local capacity for serving ex-offenders and/or high school drop outs and serve as a model to be replicated in other high-crime, high-poverty communities across the country.

Program Eligibility:       

    • Youth, ages,18-24
    • Ex-Offender or on probation
    • High School Drop Out

     

    MENTORING

    Our mentoring program pairs a caring, committed adult with a teen who has just begun to veer onto an unhealthy track—drug and alcohol use, eating disorders, low school attendance. They may also just simply need support through a challenging life event or transition.

    This program helps families increase parenting skills, and improve children's behavior at home, school and in the community. Mentoring is a preventative measure, allowing issues to be addressed at home in the context of the family before they escalate to more intense treatment.

    HEART helps families flourish through therapeutic mentoring with supportive coaching for parents. Our mentors and parent coaches offer experiential, real-time support, where it counts the most—at home versus an office or program setting. 

    Our mentors and parent coaches deliver services directly to any doorstep—home, school or in a setting you feel the most comfortable in.

    Who is eligible for mentoring?

    The program is open to young adults, ages 13- 21 who are residents of Erie County.

    How much does mentoring cost?

    Fees for services vary from program to program. A sliding fee scale is available for families who may have an inability to pay based upon household income, number of dependents and relevant outstanding expenses. HEART understands that some families are not able to pay the full hourly rate; therefore, a portion of the cost may be eligible for support by various local, state, federal and private sources.

     

    How do I make referral to mentoring?                                                                                                                                 

    Contact us at 716-834-0080 to make a referral to this Program.

     

    INTENSIVE IN-HOME SERVICES                

    A prevention/early intervention program that provides in-home counseling, skill building, and support to young people at risk of being removed from their homes, as well as returned from out-of-home placements.

    Services are based on the tenets that families are the most powerful social institution and should be supported and maintained whenever possible.

    This program is based on the Homebuilders model, a nationally recognized evidence-based family preservation initiative for high-risk families. Homebuilders provides home-based family therapy, crisis-intervention, and parenting skills to strengthen troubled families.

    Our dedicated, highly trained therapists work to address complex issues helping families to become self-reliant and less dependent on outside support systems.

    Intensive In-Home Services seeks to develop, support, and empower the family unit by teaching problem-solving skills, assisting parents to become advocates for themselves, and coordinating available community resources. Services are short-term, crisis intervention-oriented, and delivered by a therapist primarily in the client's home.

    Program Basics                                                   

    • Diffuse the current crisis, evaluate its nature, and intervene to reduce the likelihood of a recurrence;
    • Youth and Family therapy sessions;
    • Provide parenting skills training to help the family build skills for coping with the youth's disorder;
    • Provide self-help and living skills training for youth;
    • Ensure linkage to needed community services and resources;
    • Most insurance plans accepted

    Who is eligible?        

    The program is open to young adults ages 13 to 21 who are residents of Erie County. Youth are referred to the anger management workshops as the result of incidents related to anger management, such as harassment, assault, trespassing and destruction of property.

    How much does the Intensive In-Home Services program cost?    

    Fees for services vary program to program. A sliding fee scale is available for those families who may have an inability to pay, which is based upon household income, number of dependents and relevant outstanding expenses. HEART understands that some families cannot afford the hourly rate; therefore, a portion of the cost may be eligible for support by various local, state, federal and private sources.

    How do I make referral?

    Contact us at 716-834-0080 to make a referral to this Program.

    For more information, view our Intensive In-Home Services Brochure. (Acrobat PDF)

     

    ANGER MANAGEMENT

    Anger can have long lasting, damaging effects on the relationships we value most. As the world becomes increasingly more difficult and stressful the need for anger and stress management continues to rise.

    The goal of our program is to help people to identify and control hardship to avoid violence and self-destructive behavior.

    Participants will learn effective communication and listening techniques, stress management, empathy development, impulse control, anger reduction, and much more. Our program is upbeat, interactive, and an engaging learning experience. The process includes:

    • Individual assessment
    • 10-week group therapy sessions
    • Individual therapy available upon special request
    • Youth exhibiting aggressive behaviors (physical and/or aggressive)

    Who is eligible?

    The program is open to Erie County residents, ages 13 - 21. Program referrals are made by the Department of Social Services, Juvenile Justice, PINS and Probation, court referral and through Family Voices Care Coordination agencies. For self-referrals please call and talk to an intake specialist.

    Program fees vary. A sliding fee scale is available for low-income families based upon household income, number of dependents and relevant outstanding expenses. Some may qualify for some assistance by various local, state, federal and private sources.

    How do I make referral?

    Contact us at 716-834-0080.

     

    STRENGTHENING FAMILIES                              

    The Strengthening Families Program (SFP) is a nationally recognized, evidence-based parenting and family program for high-risk families. SFP has been proven to significantly reduce problem behaviors, delinquency, alcohol and drug abuse, and to improve social competencies and school performance.

    A 14-session behavioral and cognitive skills training program, SFP is extremely effective in increasing assets and protective factors, by improving family relationships, parenting skills, and the young person's social and life skills.

    SFP sessions include all the critical core components of effective evidence-based parenting programs (CDC, 2008) including: parent and child practice time in the family sessions learning positive interactions, communication, and effective discipline. This is a top-rated program with the following agencies:

    • The Federal Department of Education (2001)
    • Surgeon's General Report (2001)
    • National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIDA 2003)
    • Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services (SAMSHA 2004)
    • Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP 2007)
    • NYS Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services (OASAS 2007)

    How does it work?

    SFP is conducted in one night sessions that begin with a delicious, catered meal. Following the meal, parents and youth separate into skill-building sessions that contain parallel content for an hour. For example, as parents learn the importance of applying consequences when youth break rules, while their children learn the importance of following rules. When parents and children return and re-form the group, they practice problem-solving as a family when rules are broken.

    Each session is fun, interactive and instructional. At each session families receive incentives for their participation, e.g. door prices, grocery store gift cards, etc.

    Who is eligible?

    Open to young adults, ages 13 to 21 who are residents of Erie County. Youth are referred as the result of incidents related to anger management, such as harassment, assault, trespassing and destruction of property.                                                    

    How much does it cost?           

    Fees for services vary from program to program. A sliding fee scale is available for those families who may have an inability to pay, which is based upon household income, number of dependents and relevant outstanding expenses. HEART Foundation understands that some families cannot afford are not to pay the hourly rate; therefore a portion of the cost may be eligible for support by various local, state, federal and private sources.

    How do I make referral?         

    Contact us at 716-834-0080 to make a referral.

     

    Mind, Body, & Spirit Group

    This experience is based on Mind, Body, & Spirit, a nationally recognized program. This 10-week research-based module was designed on the rich, cultural context of Latina life and provides culturally adapted discussion and activities that empower Latina girls to express their views, determine goals, and balance their well-being, safety, and inter-personal relationships. The Mind, Body & Spirit Group is led by a Latina Facilitator.

    This program explores and utilizes the traditions, perspectives, and experiences of Latinas to empower them with the tools to make healthy decisions around sexual activity, alcohol, tobacco and drugs. Mind, Body & Spirit also examines the impact of risk behaviors on Latina girls' relationships with their families, the community, and their own personal development.

    By examining cultural expectations in a safe and supportive setting, they gain greater awareness of their options and strengthen their ability to make choices consistent with their values, interests and ultimately empower them with the tools to discover and applaud their authentic voice.  

    This program will be delivered in English and Spanish, as needed. Sessions focus on:

    • Inner Champion vs. Inner Critic
    • Alcohol, Drugs, and the Mind/Body/Spirit 
    • What is Love: Understanding Sex, Love and the Mind/Body/Spirit Balance 
    • Knowing What I Want!
    • Standing for What I Want! Understanding the Alcohol, Drug, and Sex Connection   
    • Affirming My Whole Self

    Who is eligible? 

    Mind, Body, Spirit focuses on adolescents, ages 13-17, who are willing and interested in becoming positive young ladies, feeling fabulous and connecting with others.

    ** Please Note ** 
     We will accept referrals for Non-Wrap adolescents and / or adolescents transitioning from Wraparound community services.

     

    Phenomenal Women                   

    The Phenomenal Women group is based on the nationally recognized Mother Daughter Circle program. In Phenomenal Woman, Mothers/Female caregivers and their daughters join together to strengthen their bonds through shared listening, creative expression, and skill-building led by a female facilitator. 

    This research-based program promotes empathy, communication skills, stress reduction, setting limits and honoring boundaries, exploring meanings and messages about female identity, identifying relationship accountability, and experiencing affirmation together and within our broader female community.

    Each two-hour class includes formal presentations, active participation, role play and shared discussions. During each session, participants are guided in assessing their relationship with each other and provided with techniques and strategies to improve.

    Sessions focus on:

    • Building Safety 
    • Healthy Communication 
    • Communicating Under Stress
    • Building and Deepening Trust 
    • Meeting Expectations and Needs 
    • Road Trip to Relationships: 
      • Mapping out Agreements
      • Understanding Boundaries
      • What it means to be a Woman
      • Making it Fun
    • Graduation and Award Ceremony

    ** Please Note ** 
    We will accept referrals for Non-Wrap adolescents and / or adolescents transitioning from wraparound to community services.

    Who is eligible?         
    Open to young girls and their mothers, ages 10 - 17 who are residents of Erie County. 

    How do I make referral? 
    Contact us at 716-834-0080 to make a referral to this Program.

     

     

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