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Strengthening Children, Youth, and Families

Our Vison: Children and youth reach their fullest potential.

The following programs provided by partner agencies are currently funded through United Way of Mid-Maine's 2015-2017 allocations under supervision of the Community Impact Team: Strengthening Children, Youth, and Families. Additional funded programs are available under Promoting Independence and Meeting Immediate Human Needs.

The Programs:

After School Program, Alfond Youth Center

The After School Program is a DHHS-licensed child care program serving youth ages 6 -12. It provides academic enhancement/tutoring, youth development, physical activities, arts, and free hot meals.

With funding support of $16,000 from UWMM, the Alfond Youth Center is able to provide care at the rate of $1,283 per child, per school year. By comparison the area market rate for ¾ time school aged child care is $3,938. They currently have over 300 youth aged 6-14 into the 2014/2015 After School Program period.

Camp Tracy, Alfond Youth Center

For more than 40 years, Camp Tracy has worked to promote the values of honesty, respect, fairness, compassion, responsibility, and social courage to do the right thing. Physical fitness and good nutrition are also key elements. Camp Tracy offers a variety of activities designed to expose children in grades 1-10 to as many diverse situations as possible.

As a full-day, DHHS-licensed summer camp, the program includes free lunch and lessons for up to 200 daily participants during sessions between the end of June and the last week in August. Lessons include: swimming & waterfront safety, drama, archery, arts & crafts, environmental studies, and more. All campers participate in the YMCA progressive swim program to promote swim and safety skills.

Over 80 youth will be able to attend Camp Tracy in 2015 with funding support of $10,000 from UWMM.

Summer Enrichment Program, Alfond Youth Center

The licensed summer program is going into its 6th year as the Summer Enrichment Program (SEP, formerly CAMP WOW). SEP enriches the lives of youth of all social strata during the summer in a nurturing environment while parents are able to work.

SEP accesses the full facilities of the Alfond Youth Center (AYC), providing exercise, learning, and play. With our partnership with the City of Waterville's Parks and Recreation Department, well-supervised groups venture to the adjacent Alfond Municipal Swimming Pool Complex and North Street Playground. SEP participants may join the summer karate, gymnastics, and dance programs held at the AYC.

United Way of Mid-Maine provides $5,000 of funding to offset the reduced cost to parents and guardians with financial aid/scholarships. SEP provides care for over 125 children.

Big Brothers Big Sisters

Big Brothers Big Sisters provides opportunities for children, aged 5-14, who face adversity in their lives, including those living in single parent or low income homes, or those who struggle academically or socially.

BBBS delivers 1-to-1 youth mentoring through School-Based Mentoring (SBM), which takes place weekly in the school and matches elementary or middle school Littles with high school or college Bigs, and Community-Based Mentoring (CBM) which matches children ages 5-14 with a caring, responsible adult and they meet weekly.

In January, 2015, BBBS launched School Based Mentoring at 2 new schools and served 20 SBM matches (40 youth served). UWMM funds 13% of the program, annually awarding BBBS with $8,700.

Education and Support, Children’s Center

The Children’s Center has partnered with the Greater Somerset Public Health Collaborative to provide a parent and child nutrition education program intended for parents of children with disabilities and families with low income.

The program involves two series of classes consisting of six sessions each. The first focuses on empowering families with the knowledge and skills needed for promoting health and wellness for the child with a disability while the second concentrates on providing families with tools to maximize their food budgets and cook healthy meals for their children at home.

The Children’s Center serves 40 people annually and receives $10,000 annually from UWMM, providing nearly 30% of the programs operating costs.

G.E.A.R., Crisis and Counseling

G.E.A.R. Parent Network empowers parents of children with behavioral health needs to build on their family’s strengths and to advocate for their family’s needs. The program provides one-on-one training, workshops and support groups free of charge.

G.E.A.R. staff help parents through assisting and supporting family members to navigate through multiple agencies and human service systems. It is strength-based and established on mutual learning from common lived experience and coaching that: promotes wellness and hope, increases communication and informed decision making, identifies and develops advocacy skills, increases access to community resources and the use of formal and natural supports, and reduces the isolation that family members experience and the stigma of emotional, behavioral and mental health disorders.

UWMM received information that the number of contacts for UWMM service area have increased significantly due to availability of this  funding, increasing from 543 clients in 2011/2012 to 1594 in 2014/2015. UWMM provides $5,000 in funding annually.

Hope’s Place, Hospice Volunteers of Waterville

Hope’s Place delivers a program of activities and services that respond to the needs of grieving youth and their families in a safe and nurturing environment. Hope’s Place also provides a support network for parents where they are free to express feelings, learn new and healthy ways to cope with their personal grief, and receive education about the unique grief process of children and teens.

At Hope’s Place, children and teens receive emotional support as long as necessary following a death and includes the entire family in order to foster good communication and understanding between family members. Hope’s Place staff and volunteers also provide community outreach and education to schools, churches and other organizations regarding issues of grieving children and teens and ways to support them.

From January 1, 2015 to June 30, 2015 Hope’s Place served 14 adults and 23 children. UWMM provides $7,500 in funding which supports nearly 52% of the cost per person served.

Outpatient Services, Kennebec Behavioral Health

The Outpatient Services Program offers qualified, licensed therapists to treat a wide range of concerns including anxiety, depression, grief and loss issues, substance abuse and mental illness. For children, outpatient clinicians help in dealing with stress, trauma, impulse control, personality disorders, eating disorders and social or familial problems.

Evidence-based practices such as MATCH (Modular Approach to Therapy for Children with Anxiety, Depression, Trauma, or Conduct Problems) and TF-CBT (Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy) are utilized. Services are highly person-centered and recovery focused.

Annually, 715 people are served. United Way of Mid-Maine granted KBH with $7,000 annually for this program.

South End Teen Center, KVCAP

The teen center was created over a decade ago in response to a South End neighborhood forum, where residents complained about the lack of positive outlets and safe environments for youth within the neighborhood. The teen center provides youth with a free, safe, enriching, after-school environment.

The teens are supervised/mentored by trained staff and volunteers that serve as positive, caring adult role models. Regular activities and offerings include: cooking, recreational events, field trips, special programs/events, and homework assistance, as well as daily snacks and a hot meal twice a week.

The South End Teen Center, for the third consecutive year, set new attendance records, with 2,419 visits for the year, an increase of 10% over the previous year's record. All 102 teen members (100%) completed the school year, no drop outs! They had a 92.8% school attendance rate for the year and they passed 92.7% of the classes that that they were enrolled in.
UWMM funding account for $24,468 annually.

Personal Body Safety, KVCAP

Personal Body Safety is a full safety curriculum for children, teaching fundamental skills to keep them safe from a range of dangerous or abusive situations. This program builds on the protective factor of social and emotional competence of children as a strategy for child abuse and neglect prevention. Personal Body Safety is a researched-based prevention program that directly ties into the Maine Learning Results guidelines.

KVCAP has reached nearly 1,975 children between the ages of 6-14 and receives most of it’s cost per person served funding from the $10,000 annually received from UWMM.

EduCare & Mid-Maine Homeless Shelter Collaborative, KVCAP

This program is to engage and support families experiencing homelessness around parent-child relationships, child health, child development in order to support school readiness for young children.

Specific activities include twice weekly playgroups at Educare Central Maine for guests of Mid-Maine Homeless Shelter with children 5 years of age and younger, as well as health and developmental screenings, access to on-site dental clinics, transportation support, assistance with Head Start programs and more.

This collaboration is made possible in part through the support of UWMM’s annual funding of $1,250.

Teen Parent School/Children’s Place, Maine Children’s Home

The Teen Parent School Program is an alternative education program for pregnant and parenting teens providing a full high school curriculum that also includes Prenatal, Parenting, and Independent Living classes, as well as access to individual mental health counseling.

The Children’s Place is a comprehensive early care and education program providing full-day care for children six weeks to entry into kindergarten. Its location adjacent to the Teen Parent School allows teen parents to have contact with their children throughout the day, and reduces transportation issues.

The Teen Parent School Program celebrated their 40 year anniversary this past June. Statistics gathered indicated that over 1000 students utilized the Teen Parent School Program throughout the 40 year span. United Way of Mid-Maine supports the Teen Parenting Program through annual funding of $15,000.

Children’s Advocacy Center, Sexual Assault Crisis and Support

The Children’s Advocacy Center of Kennebec & Somerset Counties (CACKS) became a program of the Sexual Assault Crisis and Support Center (SAC & SC) after an outcry from our community members that a collaborative response to child sexual violence was needed.

CACKS now serves children and young adults ages 3-18 (and others at this developmental level), as well as their non-offending care providers within Kennebec and Somerset Counties, providing a safe, neutral, and child-centered place for timely and coordinated evaluation of children following an allegation of sexual abuse.

UWMM provides $10,000 of funding for the Children’s Advocacy Center.