Andrea, a divorced Mother of several children, needs assistance with her teenage daughter, Sally, who is experiencing depression, anxiety, and was referred by the Probation Officer for Truancy. Their father moved away less than two months ago and continues to communicate with the children weekly. The family lives in small home and Andrea works part-time while children are in school. She has been late with rent, utility bills, and has disconnect notices. She has also been experiencing depression herself and has never received help. A Juvenile Justice Advisory Board (JJAB) Youth Resource Advocate was able to meet Andrea and her children. During the assessment, Sally stated, “I am worried about my family, I know my mom feels sad that she can’t get us what we need.” Andrea also worries daily that Sally and the rest of the children know when she is upset and struggling. The Youth Resource Advocate was able to communicate and provide information on individual and family counseling options to address their behavioral health. Andrea was referred to: NM Income Support, Christian Concerns, LA Cares, Housing Choice Vouchers, and Self Help for temporary assistance with food, rent, and utilities. Sally and her siblings were referred to a support group called Girls Circle at school and local Teen Center. Andrea was also referred to the YMCA scholarship program and Youth Activity Center to help with the After School/Summer programs, Los Alamos Family Strengths for support, New Mexico Workforce Solutions to view available jobs in the area, and local colleges. Sally was also given crisis information and the ‘friends ask’ app for information for additional supports.
Today, Andrea, Sally, and her siblings are seeing local therapists weekly to address their needs as individuals and as a family. Sally and her siblings remain part of the many support groups at the Teen Center and are communicating with Andrea and their father, who is attending an inpatient treatment center for his alcohol abuse. Andrea is currently enrolled in college and continues to work. Andrea was able to catch up on rent and bills and is in good financial standing. She is now aware of resources in her community and wants to give back to the community who helped her when she was in need.
The Los Alamos Juvenile Justice Advisory Board is filling desperate need in our community for getting resources to at risk youth and their families.
Please visit Los Alamos Juvenile Justice Advisory Board website for more information about Youth Resource Advocates and the other programs they manage. www.losalamosjjab.com
While this story is based on events that occurred to a family in Los Alamos, the names, images, and details have been changed out of respect for their privacy. We are grateful they have the courage to share their story to help any other families who may find themselves in similar situations.