Traditional Bridge Program ...

The Bridge Program—a community-based, weekday support and mentorship emphasizing accountability, self-discipline, and respect for family, teachers, and self through strength-based growth—serves male and female adolescents ages 12 to 18 referred by juvenile probation offices and County Child and Youth Services.

Involvement in the traditional Bridge service is designed to last about three months. Results are based on meeting personal treatment and behavioral goals, while also assuring community safety.

The Bridge Program encompasses:

  • Weekly visits to the youth’s home, including meetings with parents or other responsible family members, who must be willing to support the youth’s efforts
  • Weekly visits to school, including meetings with school-based probation officer and school personnel
  • Weekly individual counseling, with treatment supervision by a master’s degree-level clinical director
  • A range of efforts focused on accountability, including random drug and alcohol screenings, curfew and truancy calls, and electronic monitoring
  • Community service projects
  • Supportive services, including facilitation of court-ordered stipulations and the provision of job- or education-related activities
  • Attendance at education and treatment meetings, as well as court hearings
  • Frequent communication with referring agencies, including immediate contact for violations, weekly telephone updates, and monthly written reports

This regimen of face-to-face contacts with Diakon case-managers promotes positive behaviors through constant feedback and tireless encouragement. Teenagers struggling with drugs or alcohol receive the help they need. As participants discard old, bad habits and replace them with positive new ones, they build confidence, self-respect, and awareness of the benefits of being accountable for actions.

Referred youths must be able to be maintained safely in the community. For maximum effectiveness, parents or a responsible family member must be willing to support youth involvement in the program.