West End Neighborhood House

Press Releases

For Immediate Release: October 22, 2010
Contact: Monica P. Alvarez, MSW
Day Phone: 302.888.5305
Night Phone: 302.658.4171
Email: malvarez@westendnh.org

West End Announces New Teen Pregnancy Prevention Program

Wilmington, October 21, 2010 – West End Neighborhood House today announced a new teen pregnancy prevention and youth development program for Wilmington’s youth. Through a $2.9 Million grant award from the Office of Adolescent Health of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, West End will replicate the Carrera Adolescent Pregnancy Prevention Program, an award-winning and nationally recognized model, created by Dr. Michael Carrera and originally implemented by the Children’s Aid Society (CAS) in New York City.

The program at West End will serve Wilmington youth between the ages of 13 – 19 and will focus on seven areas of youth development. Chosen for replication by West End because of its comprehensive and holistic approach of engaging the whole child, the CAS-Carrera program takes an “above the waist” approach to teen pregnancy prevention and youth development.

The model is comprised of five activities and two services, which include: a weekly work-related intervention called Job Club, offering stipends, individual bank account development, graduated employment experiences and career awareness; a daily educational component, including individual academic assessment, tutoring, homework help, PSAT and SAT preparation, and assistance with college entrance; weekly Family Life/Sex Education (FLSE) classes and individual discussions as needed; weekly self-expression through the arts; weekly life time individual sports activities; no cost, comprehensive medical and dental care, including reproductive health and contraception counseling, and vision screening; and weekly mental health classes and individual counseling by licensed social workers as needed.

“West End is well positioned to implement such a large-scale initiative. Our Youth Development Department is equipped with the experience, facilities, and the motivation to target the intended population”, said Tanny Collins, Director of West End’s youth services. “This population, though the most vulnerable to environmental risk-factors and acquiring negative social behaviors, is the least funded. We tend to lose our kids after the age of 12, when after-school subsidies cease. Even affordable after-school programs throughout Wilmington remain out of reach to our low-income families”

Governor Jack Markell, Attorney General Beau Biden, County Executive Chris Coons, and Mayor James Baker were some of the dignitaries who addressed the audience gathered in West End’s youth service’s recreation room.

Chris Coons remarked, “This is a tried-and-true program that will complement the excellent work already being done by West End Neighborhood House to help folks in our community,” Coons said. “We are grateful to see this federal grant coming into Delaware, and I know in the hands of West End it will be money well spent.”

Congressman Mike Castle, who supported West End’s application to the US DHHS, stated, “the community is proud of the work being done by West End Neighborhood House, and its partners, to help prepare our young people to make good decisions today and in the future.” West End is partnering with Westside Family Healthcare, Junior Achievement of Delaware, and Jewish Family Services of Delaware to implement this model. Selected for collaboration because of their histories of excellence, each organization will serve CAS-Carrera participants in areas they do best, namely comprehensive health care, entrepreneurial training, and mental health counseling and treatment.

The program is slated to begin in June of 2011 and will be initiated as part of West End’s Summer Camp programming. West End will serve a minimum of 60 youths, from the ages of 13 – 19. Participation in the pilot year will not exceed 80 youths. There will be no cost or fees to families of program participants. It is anticipated that the large majority of those served will be residents of Wilmington’s West Side, where the rates of teen pregnancy, school drop-out, and juvenile crime are historically high. A twelve-month commitment will be mandatory for participation, and families will sign contracts outlining their own monthly, mandatory participation in programming.

The CAS-Carrera model is one of only two models out of the 28 approved to be replicated by the Office of Adolescent Health that was found to be an evidence-based and proven-effective teen pregnancy prevention program by the Coalition for Evidence-Based Policy whose mission “seeks to increase government effectiveness through the use of rigorous evidence.” The CAS-Carrera model has been identified as having “top-tier” evidence of effectiveness.

About West End Neighborhood House:

West End Neighborhood House, which recently celebrated its 125th anniversary, helps over 9,000 low- to moderate-income individuals achieve self-sufficiency and economic independence annually. The variety of services offered at West End include before and after school child care, tutoring, adult employment training and educational services, transitional housing for former foster-care youth, affordable housing and community revitalization efforts.

For more information about West End or the new CAS-Carrera program implementation, call (302) 888.5305 or visit www.westendnh.org/.

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