For some children and youth, the adversity they’ve experienced in their young lives has already had tremendous impact on their ability to function successfully in social and school settings. They are often severely withdrawn, anxious, aggressive, or disconnected. Often these behaviors result from adverse childhood experiences such as abuse, the loss of a loved one, or the stress of living in poverty or in neighborhoods or homes impacted by violence. Teens with a history of exposure to trauma often find themselves involved with the juvenile justice system. These children and youth require specialized support to aid in their recovery as they develop the tools to self-regulate and be successful in school and society.
East Bay Agency for Children offers the following programs for impacted children and youth.
Intensive Counseling Enriched
Intensive Counseling Enriched classrooms are dual educational and therapeutic classrooms that enable children to learn techniques for self-regulating their emotions and behavior while receiving academic instruction. An EBAC behavioral health therapist works with each child to achieve goals based upon his or her individualized treatment plan. Behavioral coaches shadow the children all day long in the classroom providing real-time intervention and affirmation to support positive behavioral changes and self-regulation.
Nearly 100 children receive these intensive behavioral health services from EBAC annually in 5 classrooms in the San Leandro and Oakland Unified School Districts.
Therapeutic Nursery School
The Therapeutic Nursery School provides early childhood education and comprehensive behavioral health services for up to 21 children ages 2 to 6 who need additional support with social, emotional and learning difficulties. Children are referred to the program if their behaviors make it difficult for them to succeed in their current preschool or day care settings. They may have difficulties with aggression and disruptive behaviors, experience sadness and fearfulness, or have had family difficulties. Team work with the parents, guardians and community support is an essential component of our comprehensive program.
Working with our mental health clinicians and aides, the children develop their individual strengths and practice their social skills, learning to be part of a cooperative group. The children also experience group therapy, individual therapy and family therapy. Clinical staff meet with families frequently to provide support for the children’s progress at home, school and in the community.
Youth Justice Services
Youth exiting the juvenile justice system require specialized support to give them the best possible chance of success in their transition back to school and home life. EBAC case managers are paired with teens leaving the Alameda County Juvenile Justice Center. These case managers work in tandem with the youth to ensure he or she abides by the terms of probation, enrolls in school and attends, receives necessary and/or court mandated counseling, and integrates into a safe family environment.
Together we can reduce the impact of trauma and social inequities.