Community Credible Messengers Initiative
Community Credible Messengers Initiative is committed to providing services to youth transitioning out of OCFS court ordered residential placements. FCA has partnered with 4 agencies: VISIONS and WORC in Hempstead; YES and EOC in Suffolk County, in order to provide successful wrap-around services to this cohort of youth. Youth between the ages of 14- 18 years old and returning home to the communities of Hempstead, Bay Shore, Brentwood and Central Islip will be referred to the program by OCFS in order to assist the youth in a successful return to their home and community. FCA will provide workforce development and assist the youth to develop the skill sets needed to secure employment. Vocational and Career Readiness will be targeted areas of focus.
Despite the individual progress youth have accomplished while in placement, many youth in our target population will return to neighborhoods replete with gangs, drugs, street violence and crime. For some, efforts to set a new life course will be complicated by negative peer relationships encouraging a return to prior poor behaviors. Access to pro-social activities and supportive services will counteract harmful influences, encourage healthy development and prevent reentry from slipping into regression and recidivism. Unique to this program is the Parent Partner Engagement- each youth AND his/her family members will have an assigned parent partner to work with the family and offer support and guidance.
The Credible Messenger initiative will provide the youth with a staff member from his/her community who might have experienced similar life struggles- this mentor- this credible messenger, together with the parent partner, will be the youth’s life line to a new beginning.