BAYC partners with vulnerable youth, empowering them to successfully transition to living independently as the most self-reliant, confident adults they can be. At the heart of our work is recognizing individuals in their individuality, and using our human relationships to help them to create a living roadmap towards knowing themselves. Our youth development approach enlists youth as stakeholders in designing goals that are meaningful and aligned with the youth’s own individual skills, dreams and competencies. We provide mentoring, guidance and course corrections in an environment in which it is safe to make mistakes as an inherent part of learning and practicing life skills. A key methodology is promoting awareness of choice. We work to expand youth understanding of how their own choices serve or do not serve them in achieving their stated goals.
Key Components of BAYC Service Philosophy:
1) Youth are the Center of Our Work:
- Youth Development Approach - Youth are at the center of defining their treatment experience, hopes, dreams and the path to achieving their goals. We focus on existing strengths and emphasize the acquisition of self-knowledge and life skills that promote resilience, effectiveness and self-esteem.
- Inner-Oriented Framework – We are interested in the inner experience of individual youth and helping them to create a roadmap to knowing themselves better. Our job is to draw this self-knowledge from them and to help them apply it across life domains.
- Wellness as Common Denominator- Across life domains, we strive to support youth in achieving wellness and wellbeing, and to bring attention to this underlying state. This is inclusive of mental, emotional, physical, and functional wellbeing. Attendance to cultural competency is critical, ensuring sensitivity to varied cultural beliefs regarding healing and wellness.
- Intentional Life Skills Teaching – Staff support youth in mastering basic living tasks such as cooking, laundry, navigating public transportation, and balancing a checkbook.
2) Staff therefore prioritize:
- Human-Relational Emphasis – Our primary tool in working with youth is our own human-ness; our own relational ability, empathy, and presence. We work to be emotionally available and connected with youth and one another. We practice welcoming youth as they are and communicate that we are glad to get to know them in order to work with them on their chosen life goals.
- Mentorship Focus - Staff are mentors, role models, sounding boards and partners in fostering self-esteem, hope, and resiliency. Staff and youth collaborate in evaluating the success of youth choices in attaining stated goals.
- Effective – We wish to model effectiveness for youth; we therefore prioritize efficiency, clarity, and follow-through.
- Integrity but not rigidity – As we wish for youth to be themselves, we also wish for staff to be true to their own sense of what is right; to retain their personal morality, integrity, hopefulness, and sense of their own agency.
- Holistic Case Management – We view a multi-disciplinary team as essential to success. We include youth, family members (or surrogates), community, public agency partners and staff from other agencies in youth care.
- Family-centered approach – We view families as resources, not obstacles. All services delivered are respectful and empowering to the family, and interventions are aimed at systemic change and long-term solutions.