The "Building Skills" program. Originally drafted to serve a 5th grade population was adapted to serve a middle school/High school population in 2014. The program is being successfully provided to clients ages 12-18, male and female of whom are of potentially high-risk populations for substance use and/or abuse. Clients, for the most part, are being referred from Juvenile Court for completion of this curriculum. The program goals are to raise self-esteem in individuals while at the same time addressing cognitive thought behaviors, social interaction with family and others, understanding the importance of decision-making and its influence on others and self. The program focuses on individuals decisions and the consequences of such decisions. Drugs, alcohol and tobacco are topics that are heavily addressed within the curriculum without the negative effects of a client being placed "in a box" being labeled as a "bad kid" or "drug-user".
"Building Skills is for juveniles aged 10-18 with substance abuse and/or poor decision-making issues. Most participants are referred by the Juvenile Court, DCS Probation, ETHRA Probation and community-serving organizations such as Health Connect America but other participants are referred by parents or other caretakers or voluntarily by youths themselves. There is no cost to the participants. This program concentrates on building positive cognitive thoughts and behaviors for young people that wish to improve decision-making, social skills, working with others, increasing self-esteem and confidence and obtaining a greater overall positive outlook on life. There are ten hours of community service required for this course outside of class time or court-ordered community service as part of the required curriculum. Participants must be able to dedicate one night a week (specified by facilitator) for a period of 12- 14 weeks to complete course. "Building Skills" has been extremely effective to the point that our county (Hamblen) has done away with Juvenile Court's "Youth Impact Program" and is sending 100% of its youth needing services to this curriculum.
How to get started
Use one of these methods to contact this service:
- Department of Child Services, Hamblen County Juvenile Court
- Find the location closest to you below, and use their contact information.