WELCOME

Youth Guidance welcomes the interest of prospective schools, school districts, and local stakeholders to explore partnership in implementing our programs.

Please take a moment to review more detailed information about our various programs and then fill out the Service Interest Form below to start the conversation. We understand that the need for services is great and are working hard to expand services as quickly as capacity, funding, and partnerships allow.

BECOMING A MAN (BAM) AND WORKING ON WOMANHOOD (WOW)

Information Sheet & FAQ's

Thank you for your interest in Youth Guidance’s Becoming a Man (BAM) and Working on Womanhood (WOW) programs. 

 

 

BAM and WOW are in-school, group counseling programs that provide critical social-emotional competencies to students in grades 6 through 12. Currently BAM and WOW are serving more than 8,000 Chicago area students.

What is the structure of BAM and WOW?

BAM and WOW are group counseling programs that are specifically designed to be delivered during the school day by a Counselor assigned to each school. BAM and WOW follow individual, two-year curricula based on each program’s core values.

Each BAM and WOW weekly group focuses on a specific lesson and includes a check in, group activity, and “homework.” In between groups, BAM and WOW Counselors reach individual students through “brief encounters” or check ins during the week. Students are also able to receive individual counseling as needed from their Counselor and referrals are made for any students in need of more intensive supports.

Each BAM and WOW Counselor serves 50-55 students through groups of 10-15 students each.

Are BAM and WOW evidence-based programs?

In addition to annual internal evaluations, BAM and WOW have each undergone multiple outside assessments, including separate randomized control trials by the University of Chicago’s Urban Labs.

These evaluations have shown that BAM and WOW students demonstrate success in increasing school engagement and graduation rates, decreasing levels of depression, social anxiety and PTSD (WOW), and increasing social-emotional competencies (BAM) through validated assessment tools that are standardized across both programs.

Copies of evaluation reports are available upon request.

What is needed for BAM and WOW to operate successfully at schools?

BAM and WOW are above all clinical counseling programs that are delivered during the school day.

Groups are conducted weekly during non-core class periods on a schedule created in collaboration with school administrators and faculty. BAM and WOW are not delivered during lunch periods or before or after school.

Both programs require a dedicated private space for confidentiality and for Counselors to have the ability to meet with students on individually as necessary. BAM and WOW Counselors are integral members of the school’s behavioral health teams, providing referrals and support to administrative and social work staff. We value strong partnerships with our schools and are dedicated to ensuring strong collaborative relationships. 

How much do BAM and WOW cost?

BAM and WOW programs that utilize a full-time Counselor cost $115,000 per program per school.

This includes a dedicated Counselor, the time of a Curriculum Specialist and Regional Manager, and all program activity, event, and field trip costs. BAM and WOW are two-year programs so we generally require a two-year commitment to begin services. School districts fund BAM and WOW in a variety of ways and our staff are available to discuss options that may be available to your school. 

What are the next steps to bringing BAM or WOW to my school or district?

Please complete the Interest Form available here.

A Youth Guidance staff member will reach out to you for a meeting to discuss your school’s needs and next steps. If you have immediate questions, please reach out to Theresa Lipo at info@youth-guidance.org for more information.

School Partnership Service Interest Form

To contact us about bringing Youth Guidance programming into your school, please use the Interest Form.

SCHOOL-BASED COUNSELING

Information Sheet & FAQ's

Thank you for your interest in Youth Guidance’s School-based counseling programs.

 

 

Youth Guidance school-based counselors provide full-time individual and group counseling services in a designated school and can work with any age group.

What is the structure of School-based Counseling?

School-based counseling is intended to be delivered during the school day by a Counselor assigned to each school. While capacity may vary from school to school based on need and schedule, most counselors are able to meet with 5-6 individual students and/or groups Monday-Thursday, and often reserve Fridays for administrative work and Youth Guidance meetings and trainings.

Additionally, counselors are often active participants in their assigned school’s behavioral health team and assist with other SEL activities as needed, such as class-wide or school-wide interventions, mental health check ins with students, crisis response, referrals to community services, and SEL training for school staff. 

What type of training and expertise do Youth Guidance School-based Counselors have?

All school-based counselors have master’s degrees in counseling, social work, or a related social service field and are trained to trauma-informed practice and cognitive behavioral therapy techniques.

Counselors have experience and passion for working with young people on issues of mental, emotional, and behavioral health, and can address a wide variety of challenges that affect school functioning, such as depression, anxiety, trauma, community violence, anger expression, substance use, relationship struggles, self-esteem, and issues related to separation or loss of family members.

What is needed for School-based Counseling to operate successfully at schools?

Individual and group sessions are typically conducted weekly during non-core class periods on a schedule created in collaboration with school administrators and faculty.

Individual counseling sessions may occur before or after school, or during the lunch period on a case-by-case basis. Counselors require a dedicated private space to ensure that they can meet with students individually on a regular schedule with minimal disruptions and that counselors can ensure client confidentiality. At participating schools, school-based counselors are integral members of the school’s behavioral health teams, providing referrals and support to school administrative and social work staff. We value strong partnerships with our schools and are dedicated to ensuring strong collaborative relationships.

How much does School-based Counseling cost?

School-based Counseling programs that utilize a full-time Counselor cost between $90,000 and $100,000 per program per school. This includes a dedicated Counselor, the time of a Program Manager and Director, and all program activity and material costs.

What are the next steps to bringing School-based Counseling to my school or district?

Please complete the Interest Form available here.

A Youth Guidance staff member will reach out to you for a meeting to discuss your school’s needs and next steps. If you have immediate questions, please reach out to Theresa Lipo at info@youth-guidance.org for more information. 

School Partnership Service Interest Form

To contact us about bringing Youth Guidance programming into your school, please use the Interest Form.

PROJECT PREPARE

Information Sheet & FAQ's

Thank you for your interest in Youth Guidance’s Project Prepare program.

Project Prepare is an in-school workforce development program that empowers youth with the key life skills and resources necessary to obtain crucial work and/or internship experience while in high school and make a successful transition into the postsecondary education or employment opportunity of their choice. Project Prepare is offered to students ages 16 and above. 

What is the structure of Project Prepare?

Project Prepare is specifically designed to primarily be delivered during the school day by a Career Specialist assigned to each school.

The topics covered in Project Prepare include: career exploration and goal setting, work readiness skills training, matching and placement in employment and internship opportunities, and post-high school college and career transition support.

Participants meet with their Career Specialist individually or in group-based settings during the school day, and they are encouraged to attend interview preparation activities and field trips after school or on weekends occasionally. The program runs during the school year with employment support and career exploration events available during the summer. Each Career Specialist serves 25-30 current high school students and continues to provide monthly support to students for up to a year after graduation.

Additionally, counselors are often active participants in their assigned school’s behavioral health team and assist with other SEL activities as needed, such as class-wide or school-wide interventions, mental health check ins with students, crisis response, referrals to community services, and SEL training for school staff. 

What is needed for Project Prepare to operate successfully at schools?

Project Prepare is primarily operated during the school day by offering services during non-core classes and lunch periods. The program requires a dedicated office space for staff to conduct individual and group sessions with students.

At participating schools, Project Prepare Career Specialists are integral members of the school’s Postsecondary Leadership Teams (PLTs) and work closely with seminar teachers, CTE teachers, counselors, and college coaches for referrals and to align services for students. We value strong partnerships with our schools and are dedicated to ensuring strong collaborative relationships.

How much does Project Prepare cost?

Project Prepare costs between $105,000 to $115,000 per school. This includes a dedicated Career Specialist, the time of a Program Manager and Workforce Partnerships Manager to support implementation, and all program activity, event, and field trip costs. Project Prepare generally requires a two-year commitment in order to begin services. 

What are the next steps to bringing Project Prepare to my school or district?

Please complete the Interest Form available here.

A Youth Guidance staff member will reach out to you for a meeting to discuss your school’s needs and next steps. If you have immediate questions, please reach out to Theresa Lipo at info@youth-guidance.org for more information. 

School Partnership Service Interest Form

To contact us about bringing Youth Guidance programming into your school, please use the Interest Form.