Staff and supporters of Youth First presented at the Education Outcomes Task Force on November 7, 2014. The program uses social workers to provide “evidence-based programs that prevent substance abuse, promote healthy behaviors, and maximize student success.” Programs target children from three to eighteen years of age and their families. A particular focus is keeping at-risk children connected with their education.
According to the Youth First literature, “[e]very $1 spent on effective prevention saves $18 in costly consequences.”
The programs serve children in at least Gibson, Posey, Vandenburg, and Warrick counties by connecting with schools and organizations, such as YMCA of Southwestern Indiana. There are a broad range of programs, including In It to Win It, a program based on “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens” by Steven Covey.
As an aside, Professor John Gallagher from the Indiana University-South Bend, School of Social Work, presented at the June 25, 2014, Substance Abuse and Child Safety Task Force concerning the lack of social work students taking jobs in the juvenile justice field.