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Welcome To Changing Lives Youth Services
At Changing Lives Youth Services, we believe every young person has the capability and potential to succeed, to achieve greatness and to soar.
CLYS is dedicated to the philosophy that youth in out-of-home care must be prepared with the skills required to be productive adults. With this in mind, CLYS has created a comprehensive, intensive program of hands-on, individualized learning tools to advance each youth along a continuum of independent living learning objectives.
WHAT WE BELIEVE
Out-of-home care demands alacrity and innovation to engage the disenfranchised and underserved youth who are struggling in traditional school programs, foster care and group homes. The Changing Lives Youth Services group home curriculum includes nimble, flexible programming integrating applied academics into a life-skills-based, service-oriented schedule.
We would love to give you a tour if you have not yet visited with us, or to offer more information on our program.
PREP: Preparation, Repetition, Experience, Practice
Our 16—18 year-olds in CLYS Westridge House who have successfully completed the PREP Steps and met the goals of their PREP Plan will be moving up—moving up to greater challenges, greater responsibilities and greater rewards in our PREP House. This ODJFS licensed group home will function as a transition phase, bridging the gap between traditional group home care and independence as our young men continue to learn and work on their personal PREP goals. The PREP House is a traditional group home setting with an intense training component.
A LOOK INSIDE CLYS
This program comes from the hearts of so many people! God had touched our hearts long ago with the concern for the futures of at-risk youth. My husband Leroy and I thought we were making a difference as foster parents of teen boys, but still we were unable to ignore the stories of lost young men, killed, imprisoned, hopeless. Our own hearts were burdened with the thought that “someone should be doing something different.” We came to realize that the “someone” was US!
That realization launched a long era of preparation – education, immersion in child care philosophy, studying what succeeds, interviewing incarcerated juveniles – and prayer. We are amazed at what and who emerged to coalesce our dreams. God sent just the right person at just the right time, and in the right season, we were able to open our first group home with no compromises in quality or programming.
That is not to say it was easy! No, I have seen the sacrifices of time and effort that went uncompensated except for the realization that the giver shared in the ultimate end of giving real hope to hopeless young men. Leroy and I personally, and our sons, faced financial devastation while we funded the first 10-bed home. But God is good, and I have seen His work on earth as the dream put into our hearts is now a reality, and the first placements are emerging from our Westridge home as young men who know someone cared for them, and sacrificed for them, and they reflect that sacrifice.
And now we go where the next phase of this work takes us. A good group home is not enough; we see that putting youth into independent living apartments directly from the sheltered care of a group home is too big a gap, so we are compelled to create a training home, the PREP House, where young men can actually practice it.
- Mrs. Ming Toy Cardwell, Executive Director and Co-Founder of Changing Lives Youth Services
Here is a look inside our Westridge House.We would love to give you a tour in person if you have not yet visit with us, or to offer more information on our program. Call us at 513.389.7283 for more information.
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