Roca staff build relationships with high-risk young people for the purpose of behavior change. It is only within the context of a relationship that real change occurs. Our three decades of experience combined with extensive program data show that intensive, long-term relationships with staff members help young people stop destructive behaviors and start advancing themselves.
Roca’s Transformational Relationships practices are based on an intensive form of case management, conducted mainly by our Youth Workers. Roca’s Youth Workers are trained to gain participants’ trust and advance the relationship built, using a range of techniques including Motivational Interviewing and Cognitive Behavioral Theory (CBT). In addition, Youth Workers are trained to identify where participants are in their change process and push participants through the different stages of Roca’s Intervention Model.
Transformational relationships between young people and staff go beyond friendship or mentorship. Roca’s Youth Workers are available 24 hours a day for each of the 25 young people on their caseloads. Given the circumstances of many Roca participants, Youth Workers are often the only adult in their life who shows up when the participant is in trouble, goes to court, enters lockup or is released from jail.
Youth Workers maintain their relationship with the young person during periods of success and relapses alike, helping young people understand they can fail in safety and recover. Consistency, mutual respect, openness, sense of responsibility and shared experiences are key parts of the relationships between participants and the Roca staff.