Peer Education – The PASI project integrates what are truly two comprehensive programs by themselves: the existing WEATOC peer education program and a family-oriented case management and clinical services program. Through the peer education program, DCF youth are integrated into the WEATOC Corps, which converges on WEATOC four afternoons a week and, through the Summer Peer Institute, four full days a week (see details in The Core Program, page 2).

The peer education program provides all the benefits of an after-school program, including wholesome, positive, skill-building activities; outlets for creativity, expression, and recognition; and a tight-knit, peer-led milieu that enforces and rewards pro-social behavior. This last element is critical, especially for DCF youth. They often lack social skills and bounce from program to program, dropping out or getting kicked out when they couldn’t or wouldn’t fit in; but we have found the influence of peers within the Corps, especially the older youth is powerful and eventually brings about good behavior, hard work, and the resulting self-esteem on the part of participants.

Intensive Support - The clinical program includes these components, conducted or coordinated by the Clinical Coordinator:

The WEATOC team meets every week to review cases, receive feedback and guidance on how to deal with difficult youth and family members. At these meetings, the Clinical Coordinator provides support and training. In addition, the team measures and documents proper implementation of quality assurance and clinical practices that ensure consistent adherence to positive youth development and family-centered values.