Michelle Wade from Teen Services  gave us an overview of the background of Teen Services and an explanation of the programmes it is offering including the Continuation School, Teen Haven and Counselling
 

The YHED, Youth Health Education Developmental Programme, now known as Teen Services is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year.  Teen Services has laid the foundation for building successful families.  The programs are geared to offering a second chance to individuals who have had a set back in their life. Today, many of our alumina are raising healthy families and are currently positive role models in the community. 

 

By September 1967, there was a caseload of 15 girls, and there was an inherent need to work with each client's individual needs. Consequently, an evening tutoring programme was created and employers were approached for provision of job training.  By the end of the first year 85 girls were involved in the programme. By July 1969, Teen Services proved itself to be a much needed service in the community. In September 1969, a grant was given to Teen Services by Government, which represented the official acceptance of the program.  Over the next year the agency's grant was increased, and the agency hired its first male social worker, whose primary responsibility was to work with the putative fathers.

 

Continuation School In November 1970, with the support of the Department of Education and Health & Welfare, the ContinuationSchool was opened.  The school provided educational services for pregnant school-aged girls.  The initial idea was to provide them with continuing secondary school education for girls during pregnancy, and to assist them in returning to their regular schools as soon as possible.  Today, the ContinuationSchool provides a holistic program designed to meet the educational, emotional, social and physical needs of the pregnant teen and teen mother.  The school provides an educational curriculum in BSC, pre-GED and GED, allowing a teen the opportunity to continue their educational goals, while dealing with other circumstances surrounding their pregnancy or early motherhood.

 

Teen Haven In 1975, The Haven was founded.  Initially, the property on Berkeley Road was utilized as a foster home run by Mrs. Millie Neverson.  However, in 1975, The Haven Trust (owners of the property) agreed to rent it for use as a residence for young women.  With the assistance from individuals and local women's organisations, particularly the Junior Service League, the house was renovated and furnished.  It is equipped with full-time 24 hour staff, who strive to provide teens with the necessary skills for readjustment back into the community.  The residents have a highly structured and supportive living environment to assist them to successfully live in the community.  Independent living skills are obtained through training in life skills management, which includes both job and parenting skills, academic instruction, and counselling and support.

 

The counselling component of Teen Services provides counselling and support, research information, a video library and community prevention outreach to males and females between the ages of 13-21, and their families.

 

Male Program In May 2006, Teen Services launched a pilot male group program called "Young Fathers 101."  The group was facilitated by Mrs. Rose Vickers, and staff of Bermuda Anger Management, Mediation and Professional Services, under the direction of Teen Services.  The group is designed to support young fathers, ages 16-25, through counselling and advice.  Topics include: role of the father, budgeting, anger management, child maintenance, communication, relationships, etc.

 

Teen Services continues to look for additional incentives so that more students are able to be recognized for their excellence.  Fundraising efforts are on going, so as to provide valuable incentives for each winner.

 

Michelle concluded saying that everyone deserves a second chance.  Everyone deserves a chance to reach their potential.  Throughout these last 40 years, it can be honestly stated that Teen Services has made a difference.