Nicole was referred to youthSpark’s Youth Services Center in May 2018. Her mother filed a petition against her due to a long history of negative behavior in the home and community. According to her mother, Nicole was leaving the home without permission, being very defiant toward adults, stealing, fighting in school, and skipping classes. In addition, Nicole was acting out sexually and experiencing health concerns related to these behaviors.
Early on, Nicole was very pleasant and made early disclosures of smoking marijuana and often having unprotected sex. However, she was very guarded when it came to addressing these issues and forming a bond with staff at the Center. Nicole’s case manager quickly realized that Nicole was in need of not only emotional support but clothing, hygiene items, and independent life skills.
Nicole was found stealing personal items from her case manager and would appear defeated when addressed. Instead of offering harsh and punitive responses, her case manager continued embracing Nicole and validating her feelings of loss and the need for resources. Nicole began learning how to validate and love herself.
She was introduced to the Center’s Dream Closet where she could get hygiene items, clothing, shoes, and other necessities. Through the Center’s partnership with Bare Foot Ranch, Nicole participated in Equine Therapy and addressed trust issues that had historically prevented her from forming secure relationships.
She continued working with her case manager on goals, such as effective communication and independent living skills. She made significant improvements in each area of her life, specifically her relationship with her mother. In addition, her peers began seeing her as a leader in the Voices group she was a part of and she would, in turn, offer them insight and motivation during difficult group discussions. Four months later, Nicole was successfully discharged from probation and secured her first job at Six Flags Over Georgia.
At Dressember, we’re proud to partner with organizations who relentlessly seek to break through the walls of shame and fear that their clients come into their care with. We partner with youthSpark to support their Youth Services Center, offering program tracks for boys and LGBTQ youth in Atlanta, GA. Find out more about youthSpark here.