Transforming Invisible Girls
|THE PROBLEM||VOCATIONAL & ENRICHMENT PROGRAMS|
|INVISIBLE GIRLS STORIES||THE CHALLENGE|
|TRANSFORMING INVISIBLE GIRLS||FOUNDATION LEADERSHIP|
|THE GIRLS’ CENTER||NEWS AND PRESS|
Invisible girls need specialized, long-term treatment to escape unhealthy dependencies and chaotic and destructive life-styles. A three-tiered approach is required to protect invisible girls from adult abusers and to build the self-esteem and personal skills needed to successfully re-integrate into our community.
- Gender-specific, 6 – 9 month long-term residential placement and treatment,
- Community-based support services for girls and families during and after residential treatment, and
- Prosecution of offenders/pimps.
To fully address the critical and unique needs of invisible girls and their families in Dallas County, Letot Center has created a long-term, residential treatment program for girls. The Letot Girls’ Residential Treatment Center was designed and developed specifically for girls ages 13 – 17 and, as such, is the larger of two gender-specific, therapeutic programs in the country. The Girls’ Center is the only program in the nation designed to prevent teen prostitution by serving runaway girls. Issues unique to girls – extreme abuse, prostitution and abandonment – are addressed through an intensive and highly structured program that serves up to 96 girls at a time.
The safety of the girls is the program’s highest priority, as they need protection from abusive parents, boyfriends and pimps. This locally based program improves accountability and coordination by enabling girls to be more quickly moved into treatment. Programs focus on girls’ unique developmental and relational needs and families are engaged in repairing conflict and participating in aftercare services.
Each of the programs and opportunities currently offered by Letot Center through its short-term residential program, from the Charter school to yoga to sports, have been adapted and are provided at the Girls’ Residential Treatment Center. Treatment plans and clinical services will address specific issues such as abuse, exploitation, anger management, parenting skills, sexually transmitted diseases and life skills for independent living, among other issues. Volunteers provide opportunities for spiritual growth and development.
Residential Treatment Center
|Serves||Boys and girls ages 10 – 17||Serves girls ages 13 – 17|
|Program Focus||First-time, non-serious offenders who have run away from home, been truant or committed class B misdemeanors such as driving while intoxicated or possessing marijuana or shoplifting||Girls’ unique developmental and relational needs, especially those who have run away from home or have been prostituted|
|Length of stay||1 to 60 days||6 – 9 months|
|Maximum capacity||32 beds – 8 for boys and 24 for girls; plus 8 emergency beds||48 initial beds, can accommodate 96 beds|
|Program Content||Individual, group and family counseling and experiential groups build competency in making healthy decisions, building positive relationships, managing stress and anger and developing character||Individual, group and family counseling and experiential groups will focus on issues unique to girls: extreme abuse, prostitution and abandonment as well as healthy decisions, building positive relationships, managing stress and anger and developing character|
|National Status||Largest and most comprehensive provider for youth intervention in the US||Larger of two gender-specific, therapeutic programs in the US. The only preventative program in the US|
|Staff||45 professional staff||65 professional staff|
|Staff Expertise||Case managers
Principal & assistant principal
|Court Directives||Voluntary participation of youth
Voluntary participation of parents
|Majority of girls are court ordered
Parents can be court ordered to participate
|Workforce Training||N/A||Garden and horticulture, culinary arts and computer programs|
Letot Girls’ Residential Treatment Center
|Educational Opportunities||Charter school followed by reintegration to an appropriate school environment or GED program|
|Source of Annual Operating Funds||Dallas County Juvenile Department / Dallas County Commissioners|
|Community Partnership & Fundraising||The Letot Center Capital Foundation Board, a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization|
|Family Involvement||Families are re-engaged in treatment and aftercare services supported by a network of more than 136 community-based partners|
|Program Structure||Intensive and highly structured|
|Activities||Journaling, yoga, visual arts, creative writing, sports, exercise and spiritual guidance education|
|Identification of Youth||Dallas County law enforcement agencies|
The goals for the Letot Girls’ Residential Center are to:
- Identify girls within the Dallas County Juvenile Justice Systems who need long-term residential treatment outside their homes,
- Effectively provide clinical, educational, medical, recreational and case management services,
- Teach girls skills to deal with stress and challenging situations so they do not resort to dysfunctional and delinquent behavior and
- Develop intensive aftercare and on-going community services with monitoring designed to successfully re-integrate invisible girls back into the community.
As a result, girls and their families will:
- Be engaged in making decisions about treatment plans,
- Be empowered to stay involved with specialized community services,
- Experience an environment that values, respects and trusts girls,
- Experience girls discovering their strengths, becoming self-aware, resilient and courageous – all of which provide insight into potential for happiness and success.
- Learn responsibility, self-respect, self-motivation and respect of authority,
- Learn how to apply learned skills and values to their homes, schools and community, and
- Prepare for successful re-integration into their community.