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LifeWorks (Youth & Family Alliance)

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Homeless & Housing, Housing & Shelter, Human Service Organizations, Human Services, Mental Health, Mental Health & Crisis Intervention

Mission: Youth and Family Alliance, dba LifeWorks, was formed from the 1998 merger of Child and Family Service, Pathways Community Counseling, Teen Parent Council and Youth Options. LifeWorks provides mental health counseling and "wrap around" social services to over 10,000 people annually and information, referral and education information to another 25,000. LifeWorks provides services through 4 divisions: Youth Development, Counseling, Education & Workforce Development and Housing/Homelessness. LifeWorks have 8 service sites in the Greater Austin area.

Programs: Counseling programs:youth and adult counseling assists individuals, youth, and families in dealing with the stress of day-to-day living by improving and utilizing their existing coping skills and creating effective solutions. Focusing on strengths, the program helps identify goals for short-term therapy and works with each client to explore issues and create effective solutions. Total served equals 1162. Resolution counseling is dedicated to creating a safe community by ending domestic violence and advocating for relationships based on equality and respect. It offers psycho-educational groups for adults (male/female) who have been abusive toward their partners. Group goals include taking responsibility for violent and abusive behavior, understanding power and control, learning adaptive communication and conflict resolution skills, and managing emotions. Total served equals 392. Shared psychiatric services (sps) program assists children and families with access to timely psychiatric care to reduce disruptions in school and family functioning. Clients are referred to sps from three collaborating agencies: communities in schools, lifeworks, and safeplace. Lifeworks provides programmatic and fiscal oversight of this project. Services include: case coordination, visits with psychiatrists, case management, transportation and translation, counseling, medication and lab work, as well as formal linkages to medical homes. Total served equals 286.

housing and homeless programs:street outreach is the only program of its kind in austin providing outreach and support services to homeless, runaway and street dependent youth. Youth may access: education, ged preparation, hygiene supplies, washer and dryer services, educational groups, alternative activities, medical care, food, clothing, drug and alcohol assessments, transportation services, immunizations, hiv counseling and testing, pregnancy testing, mental health services, drug and alcohol counseling, and case management services. Total served equals 260. Lifeworks operates the only walk-in emergency shelter for youth in travis county. This shelter provides runaway and homeless youth, ages 10 to 19, a secure place to sleep, food, clothing, and case management to coordinate family reunification, medical care, transportation, educational services, tutoring, and counseling. Total served equals 139. Lifeworks young parents program provides homeless teenage mothers, fathers and their babies with a safe and stable living environment through apartment-based housing. The program focuses on increasing independent living skills, basic parenting, and healthy child development practices. Youth attain educational and employment skills, information and counseling to prevent, treat and reduce substance use and abuse. Residents access other services, (medical/mental health, basic needs, housing) through participation in lifeworks' continuum of services and community collaborations. The program gives young residents a safe and stable home where they can focus on building a future. Total served equals 44. Supportive housing program is an apartment-based independent living program providing subsidized apartments with paid utilities and furniture/household items, financial assistance, and on-site management with staff available 24/7. Supportive housing program provides case management, including advocacy and case coordination, independent living skills training, and financial management. Other services provided include assessment and linkage to needed services such as child care, medical services, mental health services, education and job training. Total served equals 83. Lifeworks' transitional living program is a 24-hour residential facility that provides secure housing and case management services for up to 18 months to homeless youth transitioning into adulthood. Transitional living program is a coed program which houses 7 residents ranging in age from 16-23. In addition, the program offers residents independent living skills classes, aftercare services, financial support, and 24-hour on-site assistance. Total served equals 28.

youth development programs:teen parent services are provided to expectant/parenting teens in austin/travis county to encourage teens to stay in school and to prevent subsequent pregnancies. Case management services are provided to help teens access resources and teach positive parenting skills. Total served equals 224. Next step provides prevention education to elementary and middle school students using nationally recognized drug and violence prevention curricula that emphasize appropriate social and communication skills, problem solving skills, and techniques for handling anger and other strong emotions in a productive manner. Research shows that these skills help to prevent youth involvement in substance abuse and violence. Total served equals 996. Real talk provides school and community-based groups and summer camps that help youth (4th-8th grades) and their parents develop the skills and knowledge necessary to avoid early sexual involvement and teen pregnancy. Small groups provide education about puberty, relationships, decision making and healthy choices through experiential activities and group discussions. Topics are developmentally appropriate for the specific age group. Mentoring, volunteer projects, and family nights are key components. Total served equals 669.

education programs:literacy services: adult basic education and english as a second language - these volunteer-based lifeworks programs teach adults how to read and write. Literacy services provide instruction to individuals 17 years of age or older who read below the 6th grade level, and/or who have limited proficiency in speaking english. Total served equals 414. Literacy services: ged - this program is designed to assist youth with ged preparation, academic tutoring, and critical life skills/job skills training. The target populations of this program are youth ages 16 to 26 who have not completed their high school education, and who are often dealing with challenging life circumstances, such as being homeless, pregnant, parenting, or involved in the juvenile justice system. Total served equals 142. After care transition services (acts) works in collaboration with casey family programs, lifeworks' housing division and texas department of family and protective services to provide services to transitioning foster care youth in a 30-county area. Acts provides increased depth of services to foster youth, including case management, crisis intervention, resource referral and life skills education. Total served equals 352. Lifeskills training (preparation for adult living) - lifeskills training is a hands-on course designed to prepare young people ages 15-19 who are in the conservatorship of texas department of family and protective services, to live independently as adults. Training, role-playing, and field trips focus on budgeting, housing, employment, health issues, and other relevant topics. Total served equals 219. Young fathers program (yfp) is designed to support low income young fathers (17-26 years old), living at or below 200% federal income poverty level, in becoming supportive, involved parents. The goals are to promote healthyrelationships, develop parenting skills, and increase workforce potential. Total served equals 141. Workforce development program (wfdp) - the goal of the wfdp is to help youth who have aged out of the foster care system transition to the workforce. In partnership with area partners, lifeworks provides training, education and assistance in employment to high-risk and transitional foster youth. Total served equals 66.

Community Stories

1 Story from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters



Rating: 5

1st - Lifeworks put your money to work and gets results
2nd - They are all about self-sufficiency, not perpetual handouts
3rd - They help children transition from a foster childhood to a self sufficient adulthood