Programs that offer a variety of activities for youth who are at risk for behaviour which is likely to involve them in the juvenile justice system with the objective of assisting them to improve self-esteem, to become aware of alternative ways of dealing with feelings and leisure time, and to take responsibility for the consequences of their actions. Included may be counselling, rap and discussion groups, tutoring, companionship programs, alternative peer group experiences and supervised recreational activities.
Programs that provide a wide variety of social services that are designed to support healthy family development, improve the family's ability to resolve problems (such as poverty, unemployment, ill health, homelessness, substandard housing, educational difficulties, substance abuse, adolescent pregnancy, delinquency and physical and developmental problems) and prevent the need for unnecessary placement of children in foster care, group homes, inpatient substance abuse or mental health treatment programs, residential training schools or other alternative environments when family problems reach crisis proportions. Services may include home visiting services that focus on public health issues (especially prenatal), mental health and substance abuse counselling, home management instruction, success in a child care setting, parenting skills development, stress management, tutoring, pregnancy awareness and AIDS awareness; may be available to the community at large, to families at risk for dissolution or those currently in crisis; and may be offered by a single agency or a coalition of agencies that have agreed to provide services according to a coordinated case plan.
Programs that provide individual, conjoint, family and group counselling for people younger than age 18 who are at risk for or have committed delinquent acts and who are directed to participate in counselling for a period of time as an alternative to arrest, a hearing in a juvenile delinquency or youth court, or, in some cases, another court-ordered disposition. These programs are often provided by agencies which also offer other types of counselling for young people and their families, which coordinate with the referring agency concerning the client's responsible use of services and which involve the client's family in the counselling process as needed.
The above terms and definitions are part of the Taxonomy of Human Services, used here by permission of INFO LINE of Los Angeles.