Youth Mentor Services

What Is Youth Mentoring?

At Texas Initiative Programs, Inc. we understand and see the correlation for the alignment of proper youth mentor-ship. At TIPS Inc we define a mentor as a trusted professional adult with the goal of providing long-term and consistent commitment to proper guidance in order to create support for a youth consider at risk. Our formal youth mentoring programs are focused on supporting the relationship between mentor and youth (mentee) and developing the character and capabilities of the young person.

What Is The Commitment Of A Youth Mentor?

During the mentees time with TIPS Inc, a youth mentor will be required to see his/her mentee at designated times. Youth mentors will help mentees fully expand and experience positive interactions within the Dallas-Fort Worth community.

Why Is There A Need For Youth Mentor Services?

Juvenile Justice Services     

The occurrence of negative youth/antisocial behaviors and why youth commit them is not new, and there is no one explanation to give that would satisfy the totality of negative youth/antisocial behaviors. The motivations that cause some youth to commit their negative actions are various and are different for each youth.

Historically there have been various explanations given about the causes of antisocial and violent behaviors in children (Moffitt, Krueger, Caspi, & Fagan, 2000). However, none of these explanations could stand to rigorous analysis or offer any acceptable solutions to the continuing problems of antisocial and violent behaviors (Moffitt, Krueger, Caspi, & Fagan, 2000). It is widely acceptable that antisocial and violent behaviors are the result of many influences, some of which are biological and psychological influences (Moffitt, Krueger, Caspi, & Fagan, 2000).

TIPS, Inc. keenly understands that without the proper assistance there is potential for recidivism and revocation back into the juvenile justice system. According to the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, over 2.4 million juveniles were arrested nationwide (Abrams, 2006). Unfortunately Abrams (2006) noted that evaluation research has consistently demonstrated that costly residential programs are largely ineffective, as seen by high re-offense and re-conviction rates. The rate of return to a state facility for youth in Texas between the release years of 2006 to 2007 averages in the percentage range of the mid 70s (Legislative Budget Board, 2012).

In understanding these problems one is able to observe that juveniles are likely returning to the same neighborhoods and communities they offended in with no constant guidance or supervision. Without the work and efforts of community-based adult mentors that help juveniles reintegrate into society, recidivism rates have the potential to become higher. Greenwood (2008) discussed the use of community-based programs and mentors as a diversion for first-time offenders from further encounters with the justice system. The most successful community-based programs emphasize family interactions and provide skills to the mentors who work with, supervise, and train children. For juvenile offenders as it relates to re-offending, working with mentors who work in community-based programs is only effective if the juvenile offenders participate in those programs. Hallfors, Pankratz, and Hartman (2007) noted that there is an increased awareness for the need to implement community based programs and mentors from funding agencies based on programs that had been previously tested and have demonstrated the reduction of youth involved in problem behaviors. With the large numbers of juvenile offenders released into society, the need for mentors who work in community-based programs is evident.

TIPS, Inc. fully understands that at-risk youth involved in their local juvenile justice systems can be helped and mentored in his or her homes and neighborhoods rather than in out-of-home placements. TIPS, Inc. has the ability to provide mentoring services and other alternatives to out-of-home placements, which only strengthens a youth’s ties to their family and his or her community as a whole.

TIPS, Inc. strives to have a continual innovation in the services the organization provides that are tailored to meet the ever-changing needs that emerge for youth involved with his or her local juvenile justice systems.  In understanding service needs of the youth we serve, most of TIPS, Inc.’s programming is designed to lower recidivism and to provide mitigation in the following area:

  1. Diversion Techniques: We strive to turn at-risk youth from their negative course of actions and hinder further permeation into the local juvenile justice system.
  2. Pre-Adjudication Services: while at-risk youth wait for decisions in his or her cases from the courts, TIPS, Inc. will provide an alternative that may help to prevent/avoid detention or further permeation into the local juvenile justice system.
  3. Post-Adjudication Services: when an at-risk youth receives a judgment in his or her case, TIPS, Inc. provides an alternative to decrease or prevent placements of incarceration or detainment in youth residential centers or secured facilities.
  4. Re-Entry Services: When at-risk youth are released from where he or she was committed, TIPS, Inc. provides programming and structure to promote safety and support to at-risk youth transitioning back to the community from institutional placement.

Also, TIPS, Inc. will do its best to help meet the needs of specific populations within the juvenile justice system by addressing:

  1.  Family Interactions, Communications, and Partnership
  2.  Restorative justice methods and techniques
  3.  Disproportionate Minority Contacts within the justice system
  4.  Youth with MHMR needs
  5.  Youth with issues of Trauma
  6.  Sexually Exploited Youth 
  7.  Gang-Related/Affiliated Youth
  8.  School Truancy
  9.  Peer Interactions