The Mi Casa Neighborhood Center, located at Lake Middle School in northwest Denver, offers afterschool enrichment programs, including case management for kids who need extra support to succeed in school and make positive choices.
Recently, the families involved in Mi Casa’s case management program got together for a holiday party, organized by Mi Casa’sYouth Advocates Lauren Brown and Jereme Snidar. Thanks to a partnership with the Denver Police Department, Lauren and Jereme saw to it that each of the 20 families received Christmas presents for every child in the family, as well as a big bad of food to make the holiday meal even more special. In addition to enjoying a delicious and healthy meal provided by Revolution Foods, the families decorated holiday cards for kids who had to spend Christmas at Children’s Hospital.
Mi Casa collected feedback from families on the impact that the case management program has had in their child’s life. The comments were incredibly positive, proving that the case management program – and the afterschool enrichment programs at Mi Casa – is having a measurable impact in the lives of youth in our community.
Here is a sample of results from the survey:
- 92% of parents strongly agree that the Mi Casa case management program is helpful to their child and valuable to them as a parent
- 100% of parents agree or strongly agree that their child has shown improvement at home and at school due to participation in Mi Casa’s case management program
- 100% of parents strongly agree that Mi Casa’s Youth Advocates are friendly, responsive, and approachable; respectful of them and their children; and highly trustworthy
Mi Casa also asked parents to comment specifically on how the case management program at Mi Casa has impacted their child. One parent said she now sees her son thinking before he acts. Another parent noted that social interactions with his child have improved, which makes working together easier. One mom said due to the influence of her children’s advocate, she now has better communication with her daughters; they can talk about problems and resolve them without fighting. Another parent said her daughter’s GPA has improved, and she sees her being more interactive with her teachers and counselors. And finally, one parent observed that his son is not only able to communicate better with adults, but is more able to control his anger.
Each case managed youth at Mi Casa is paired with a Youth Advocate that meets with the child several times a week, attends classes with her/him, and develops a relationship with their family through monthly home visits.
Mi Casa’s successful case management model relies on these key strategies for youth success:
- Assess needs of youth and families and develop/implement a plan to meet the needs
- Develop plans to reduce risk factors at home, including helping adults access training, services and therapy
- Provide high-quality afterschool/summer enrichment programs for youth
- Connect youth to tutoring and homework assistance; attend class with students for extra support.
- Provide meaningful incentives for participation, reaching goals, and showing improvement
- Facilitate positive relationships between law enforcement and youth; advocate for youth involved in the court system
The Lake Middle School campus is home to three distinct but co-located schools. Administrators from all three of these schools have expressed their appreciation of the support and guidance Mi Casa’s case management program provides individual students and the entire school community.