Youth Crossroads and school staff anticipated that students would have significant trouble academically and emotionally re-entering the “normal” school day. YC has tried to address this in several ways, including increased Counseling staff providing services at Freedom and Heritage Middle Schools and Morton Alternative High School. We have also increased social emotional support and education in our after-school programs and the Youth Leadership Program (YLP).
In October, 51 middle school students completed (with parent permission) the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire, which looks at emotional symptoms, conduct problems, inattention-hyperactivity, peer problems, and pro-social behavior. The questionnaire gives a score for each of these areas and a total difficulties score based on all scores. The survey shows:
Total Difficulties: 22 youth scored High or Very High
Emotional Difficulties: 21 youth scored High or Very High
Conduct / Behavior Difficulties: 16 youth scored High or Very High
Inattention / Hyperactivity: 15 youth scored High or Very High
Peer Difficulties: 15 youth scored High or Very High
Prosocial Attributes: 7 youth scored Low or Very Low
Impact of Difficulties: 16 youth scored High or Very High
Based on the data collected, the youth development counselor will schedule individual interviews with youth that scored a high or very high on one or more of the attributes. Recommendations for additional support services will be made to the youth and parents. The hope is that the screening of youth in these programs will help us identify youth who could use additional supports or counseling before they hit a crisis crossroads.