Showcase Group Advocacy Model
Showcase Group’s advocacy service model was initially considered to help to transition youth from the Department of Juvenile Justice transition back into society by connecting youth to transitional services, education, and employment pathways. Our focus is to amplify access to available resources. Currently, our organization is engaged in various partnerships to include advocacy within after-school models and social service organizations with the addition of mental health assessments and benchmarking starting in 2017.
Showcase Group is also a part of initiatives focusing on improving the lives of boys and men of color. Our Advocacy framework and culturally relevant workshops assist in connecting youth and young adults to mental health, educational, transitional, and employment referrals and pathways. Showcase Group recognizes an opportunity to amplify access to available resources for a subset of opportunity and justice-involved youth, both in Metro Atlanta and Rural Georgia.
Showcase Group’s non-clinical case management structure supports the same individuals during their pathway engagement to also increase retention and success. Our organization looks to track individual success for 24 to 36 months post-enrollment.
Showcase Group combines counseling and social work principles to advocacy. Most of the principles from these professional fields overlap, and those that do not directly relate have strong similarities. The main objectives of advocacy are to change systems that are not fostering equal distribution of rights while serving as a leader for systems reform. Advocacy is accomplished by giving voice to those that have met significant life challenges due to lacking systems that encourage appropriate social and emotional development and psychosocial health. The American School Counselors Association (ASCA, n.d) exhorts that advocacy efforts in schools are aimed to:
(1) eliminate barriers impeding students’ development;
(2) creating opportunities for all students;
(3) ensuring access to a quality school curriculum;
(4) collaborating with others within outside the school to help the students meet their needs, and
(5) promote positive, systemic change in schools.
Moreover, our advocates are agents of leadership, collaboration, and systemic change and are trained and supervised by licensed mental health professionals.
American School Counselors Association. (2003, 2005). The ASCA National Model: A framework for school programs. Alexander, VA.
House, R.M.. Hayes, R.L. (2002). School Counselors: becoming key players in school reform. Professional school counseling, 3, 101-107.
Kuranz, M. (2005). Cultivating student potential. Professional school counseling, 5, 173-179.
Trusty, J., Brown, D. (2005). The American School Counselors Association: Advocacy Competencies Professional School Counselors, 8:3, 259-265.
The Campaign for the Fair Sentencing of Youth reports that there are 2,570 juveniles serving life without parole sentences in various states throughout the country.
Annie E Casey Foundation reports that there are over 374,000 families with children with annual incomes of less than 150% of the federal poverty threshold.
There are 13,395 children in foster care in Georgia. 2,370 of these children are waiting for adoptive families. - AdoptUSKids
Annie E Casey reports that there are over 2,100 youth residing in GA’s juvenile detention and correctional facilities.
Three years after exiting a secure state facility, 50% of youth have committed another offense.
Over 91% of youth in the State’s youth detention center is between the ages of 12 and 16.
Among those youth detained in youth detention centers with a mental health diagnosis, 60% also met criteria for a substance use disorder.