TYFS Family Tracks | TahoeDailyTribune.com

TYFS Family Tracks

South Tahoe Police Department contact Tahoe Youth & Family Services 24-hour crisis line with the report of a 15-year-old teenager who was abandoned by his mother. The boy, from San Diego, was to meet his mother in South Lake Tahoe. She did not show up to meet him and the boy had been in the area for several days looking for his mother.

After several days of searching for his mother, the boy called the police to report his situation. A Tahoe Youth & Family Services counselor intervened and helped the boy contact other family members to find a place for him to go. The family wired a bus ticket to the boy and the counselor stayed with the boy until he was placed on the bus.

For the past 30 years Tahoe Youth & Family Services has provided crisis intervention services for runaway youth. Services include a 24-hour crisis line, with 24-hour crises intervention, including temporary shelter placement for runaway and homeless youth. Counselors provide intensive casework on individual situations to resolve the family crisis and preserve family unity whenever possible. Many youths have been pushed out of their homes by parents who are unwilling or unable to care for them. Transportation is arranged for out-of-town runaways to return home.

The agency also provides counseling, education and support to the youth and families in the South Lake Tahoe community. The Tahoe Runaway and Youth Services program, known as TRYS, at Tahoe Youth & Family Services provides services in English and Spanish to multi-cultural children and youth involved in or at risk for running away, homelessness, truancy, dropping out of school, depression, suicide, delinquency and violent behavior. This program is funded through broad-based funding from federal, state, county, city, United Way and local contributions. With governmental support, Tahoe Youth & Family Services provides a cost savings to tax payers with prevention services rather than institutional placement. This is a much more cost effective method of dealing with at-risk behavior.

The many services provided by Tahoe Youth & Family Services offered through the TRYS program include Individual counseling with the focus to help youth develop a more positive self concept and cope with stress from family, peers and school. Many clients report that they are experiencing depression, suicidal thoughts, anxiety, anger, impulse control problems and alcohol/drug dependencies. Counselors help youth develop more positive coping and conflict resolutions skills in order to gain a sense of control over their lives.

Family counseling for families focuses on relationship building, conflict resolution, identifying strengths and weaknesses, problem solving skills, understanding family drug and alcohol recovery issues, single parent issues and blended family issues. Parent education services provide focus on family roles in functional and dysfunctional families, child/adolescent development, communication skills, conflict resolution, substance abuse, anger management techniques and modeling effective behavior.

Youth support groups focus on developing life skills, healthy peer relationships, communication skills, self-esteem issues, conflict resolution skills, grief/loss issues, cross cultural issues, abuse/abandonment issues and drug and alcohol problems. Groups include an eating disorder and boy’s group at South Tahoe High School, a girl’s group at the Boys & Girls Club and teen recovery group at Tahoe Youth & Family Services. An agency counselor also provides services in collaboration with South Tahoe High School to provide Students Making It a Little Easier, a peer outreach program that provides training to students to reach out to isolated and troubled youth to provide support and referrals to services. Peer counselors provide mediation services for multi-cultural conflicts at school sites.

If you or someone you know is struggling with youth and family issues and could benefit from the services provided by Tahoe Youth & Family Services please call us at (530) 541-2445 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday or on the crisis line (530) 541-8500 24 hours a day. If you would like to volunteer time as a foster parent or a mentor, or if you would like to make a tax deduction donation contact Tahoe Youth & Family Services by telephone or at 1021 Fremont Ave.

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