New York City Community Center Provides Substance Abuse and Pregnancy Prevention Counseling for Young Girls
The Grosvenor Neighborhood House, a New York City community-based organization that works to increase the economic and personal self-sufficiency of children, youth and their families, provided substance abuse and early pregnancy prevention services to girls and young women ages eight to 18.
- Twenty girls ages eight to 13 attended Girls to Women Creating Change, Grosvenor's after-school program designed to develop the girls' talents and skills, especially in the areas of leadership and academic advancement.
- Sixty young women ages 14 to 18 attended Teen Empowerment, a Grosvenor program that offered workshops and training sessions related to substance abuse and pregnancy prevention.
From October 2002 to October 2003, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) provided $40,000 to support the project.
Grosvenor Neighborhood House serves a diverse neighborhood in New York where, according to the project director, youth unemployment is high, academic achievement poor, and domestic and sexual violence common. Girls living in such environments are more likely to have low self-worth, which can lead to abusive relationships with boyfriends, unsafe sexual activity, teenage pregnancy, drug addiction and school drop out.
Very few programs in Manhattan serve at-risk girls, teens and young women in a female-only setting. According to research conducted by the National Council on Crime and Delinquency, gender-specific programs work best in building girls' self-confidence and giving them the knowledge and tools to avoid the pitfalls of substance abuse and early pregnancy.
The Grosvenor Neighborhood House social worker and teen director organized workshops, social activities and trips and provided counseling related to substance abuse and early pregnancy prevention for girls and young women.
- Twenty girls ages eight to 13 attended Girls to Women Creating Change, Grosvenor's after-school program designed to support the girls' strengths and develop their talents and skills, especially in the areas of leadership and academic advancement.
- Sixty young women ages 14 to 18 attended Teen Empowerment, a Grosvenor program that offered workshops and training sessions related to substance abuse and pregnancy prevention. Staff at local hospitals (Harlem Hospital and Mount Sinai) and community-based organizations (Boys Harbor, YMCA of Greater New York and the Harlem Tap Program) ran some of the workshops.
- The social worker provided counseling to 20 individuals and 10 families and ran an ongoing group with young women who had participated in the Teen Empowerment program. The group sessions covered topics such as sexuality, teen pregnancy, health, nutrition, family life, relationships and warning signs of abuse.
AFTER THE GRANT
The New York City Department of Youth Services continues to fund the project. The Grosvenor Neighborhood House changed the name of Girls to Women Creating Change to Strong Sisters United and developed a similar program for boys called Strong Brothers United. The name for the Teen Empowerment program was changed to the Teen Center and includes young men.
GRANT DETAILS & CONTACT INFORMATION
Substance Abuse and Early Pregnancy Prevention Program for At-Risk Females Ages 8-21
Grosvenor Neighborhood House (New York, NY)
Dates: October 2002 to October 2003
Report prepared by: Barbara Matacera Barr
Reviewed by: Kelsey Menehan
Reviewed by: Molly McKaughan
Program Officer: M. Katherine Kraft