Providing the tools foster teens need to make it in the real world!
Acquiring life skill knowledge and experiences is crucial for youth in the foster care system if they're going to make it on their own after "aging-out" of State care. The majority of foster youth are not prepared and the consequences can be devastating.
Arrow Crossroads Community at Fair Meadows, located in Maryland, is designed to prepare girls, ages 13-21, for successful independent living after foster care. This is accomplished at The Arrow LifeHouse (dorm living for 12 girls) and three cottage homes (apartment-style living for two girls in each cottage) through individualized life skills assessment and training, therapeutic services, and multidisciplinary treatment planning.
Through progressive goal achievements, girls are able to earn the privilege of moving from The Arrow LifeHouse to the less structured life of a cottage before leaving for independent life as adults.
• Structured, home-like environment. The preparation of meals and the completion of routine household chores are done with a team approach.
• Care and activities provided by licensed mental health professionals, a nurse, psychiatrist, and skilled residential counselors.
• Children experience a sense of safety and stability.
• Group and individual therapy address individual needs such as family dynamics, sexuality, substance abuse, and violence.
• Children are provided with positive outlets for emotions through arts and crafts, field trips, and other activities.
• Children receive academic instruction in public and/or private schools based upon their educational needs (i.e. middle school, high school, GED preparatory classes, vocational training programs, and college).
• Treatment specialists work closely with each resident, their parent(s)/guardian(s) and referring agency to assure the development and implementation of an effective treatment plan.
• Children are assessed for their level of proficiency in different life skills and are offered training opportunities to build those skill sets.
• Children are encouraged to obtain employment in the community.
• Dormitory residents can transition to semi-independent living while remaining in the same program, thus retaining access to a well-established team of support.
• Semi-independent living residents are provided with resources to successfully transition to more permanent housing.