Top Reasons Why Parents Don’t Get Help for Troubled Kids

Parenting is a tough job – even beyond the obvious sleepless nights, endless laundry and constant worry. It’s a job made even more difficult by the seemingly never-ending presence of people who want to tell you how you “should be” parenting your child. From your favorite eatery to your own home, they love to share how their children always had good manners, and lecture you for letting your 6-year-old negotiate a later bedtime.

Parents don’t want to be told how to parent. That’s just one of several reasons keeping some parents from seeking help or counseling for their child.

No Resources
How do you know which therapist is best for your child? Would a group program be a better option? The best place to start is your child’s guidance counselor. School counselors are a great resource of information. They are aware of available programs in your area, as well as those offered at the school, and may have previous experience with local therapists to help you find the best match.

A therapist or group therapy program can run into the thousands of dollars if your child or family attends for several weeks or months. Insurance can help, but for some families with limited policies or high deductibles, the cost can quickly add up, creating even more stress for a family under duress. 

Time and Transportation
Making the time to drive to regular appointments, often across town and during rush hour, can turn getting help into a big headache. Arranging for childcare can also be costly, and some families operate with only one car, or none at all, making it even more difficult to find consistent transportation.

The Solution May Be SNAP®
SNAP®, which stands for STOP NOW AND PLAN, is a cost-free, evidence-based, cognitive-behavioral program designed for children ages 6-11 who are engaging in aggressive, anti-social behavior and/or have come into negative contact with authority figures at school or in the community.

Experienced and highly trained staff work with each family to assess challenges and problems and develop an action plan. Session times are held based on the needs of the families and transportation can be arranged if needed. Gender-based group sessions at the Youth Crisis Center’s Jacksonville campus are held once a week for 13 weeks. Additionally, SNAP® has expanded to over 10 schools in the First Coast community, where multiple lessons are integrated into classroom settings for 45-minute sessions.

Cost and Convenience
SNAP® services are free through the Department of Juvenile Justice. SNAP® families are fed meals and sibling care is provided at no charge. Transportation can also be arranged as needed at no cost. The parent group that shares effective child management and SNAP® strategies meets at the same time as the children’s group. The group also provides an opportunity to make connections with other parents facing similar challenges.

If you think your child is exhibiting problematic behavior and can benefit from the free SNAP® program, click to read more about the “Six Signs Your Child May Have Behavioral Issues or Concerns”.

To learn more about SNAP® click HERE.

Download our free ebook!

 Six Signs Your Child May Have Behavioral Issues or Concerns

A Graduation Like No Other

A Graduation Like No Other

There are few things more exciting than a graduation ceremony. It represents accomplishment, achievement and an investment in a better future. For families in the Youth Crisis Center’s (YCC) SNAP® program, SNAP® graduation is a time they can reflect on how far they’ve come over the past 13 weeks, and to know they are not alone in their family goals. Sterling Hurst, the SNAP® Coordinator at YCC, finds it rewarding to see the progress the kids and their parents have made, along with the bonds they form with other families.

“When they come into the SNAP® program, they are open to see what will work to build a better relationship with their child,” said Hurst.

In early April, seven families participated in this unique graduation ceremony. Like other graduations, there were caps, gowns and diplomas, but this ceremony also had a SNAP® version of Family Feud. The children challenged the parents, answering questions based on topics learned in their SNAP® class. 

Caps, Gowns and Stories of Success

During this ceremony, diplomas were presented to both the children and their parents, along with a trophy and gift bags. The graduates then heard words of encouragement from their SNAP® facilitators about the progress they had made during the 13-week program.

“We take the time to highlight where they are and the progress they made. Some don’t realize how far they have come until we highlight the challenges they faced when they first came in the program and where they are at now,” added Hurst.

For parents who participate in the program, it’s an opportunity to take advantage of a support system. This system includes other parents who also receive SNAP® skills from professionals on communicating with their child in positive and constructive ways.

SNAP® and Schools Work Together

In many cases, school representatives work with SNAP® facilitators by referring children and their parents to the SNAP® program located at YCC. Additionally, teachers, counselors and administrators work with facilitators on getting SNAP® into their schools and classrooms. Schools are selected based on interest and availability. The program generally requires 45-60 minutes and can accommodate a minimum of five, or up to 30, students per session.

Sometimes SNAP® is Just the Start

“The SNAP® program is a process, and, in a lot of cases, 13 weeks may not be enough for a full transformation, but it does give measurable success to help them continue on the right track,” said Hurst.

For some parents, the SNAP® program is just the start of the journey to help and heal their families. Several will continue on to additional therapy sessions provided through YCC’s Outpatient Behavioral Health program.

If you think your child is exhibiting problematic or concerning behavior and can benefit from the free SNAP® program, download our FREE ebook “Six Signs Your Child May Have Behavioral Concerns.”

Download our free ebook!

 Six Signs Your Child May Have Behavioral Issues or Concerns

What is SNAP®?

Getting Help When Your Child Is Acting Out

New mom Octavia was excited about starting her family. She was a proud momma – to say the least – when she had her first child. Smart and sweet, her son was well behaved at church, during visits to his grandparents and when he played with friends. So, when her son turned five years old and the school called Octavia about some behavior problems, she was truly surprised. “I guess I was in denial,” said Octavia. “Every call from the school made me dig my heels in even deeper in defense of him. I even went to the school board to complain that they were falsely accusing him of being a bad kid.”

Warning Signs

That all changed when a school bus camera captured her son fighting with a school bus staff member who was trying to prevent him from jumping off the bus. Octavia was shocked. How could this be the same sweet boy she knew? Unfortunately, that was just the start. It all came to a head when he was admitted to a behavioral hospital to prevent him from hurting himself and others. It was at that low point when Octavia was told about the Youth Crisis Center’s SNAP® program.

What is SNAP®

SNAP®, which stands for STOP NOW AND PLAN, is an evidence-based program that focuses on how a child thinks, as well as why they are acting out. Developed at the Child Development Institute (CDI), SNAP® helps children and their parents learn how to effectively manage their emotions and ‘keep problems small’.

The SNAP® program is focused on children ages 6-11 who are engaging in aggressive, anti-social behavior and/or have come into contact with authority figures at school or in the community due to poor behavior. Experienced and highly trained staff works with each family to assess challenges and problems and develop an action plan. The goal is to prevent future anti-social behavior and reduce the chances of conflict with family, peers and authority figures.

The Benefits of SNAP®

Octavia credits the program with giving her son the skills to think and work through whatever was upsetting him – before it blew up into something that sent him out of control. She saw his anger and aggression decrease as he went through SNAP® and at age nine, his IQ testedas that of a 14-year-old – in the top 25 percent of Florida students. Her son was allowed to rejoin sports and developed into a star football player. Octavia says her son is about to turn 11 years old and they still employ the SNAP® techniques when he has his “moments.” “I tell him, you know what to do and you know how to put them to use,” said Octavia. “It also helped me as a parent to learn when to use consequences or a reward to get the right response.” Octavia also went through SNAP® with her other son and plans to go through it with her daughter when she is old enough. She believes every child and parent could use the skills from SNAP® to learn how to handle whatever life might throw their way.

If you think your child is exhibiting problematic or concerning behavior and can benefit from our free SNAP® program, download our FREE ebook “Six signs your Child May Have Behavioral Issues or Concerns.”

Download our free ebook!

 Six Signs Your Child May Have Behavioral Issues or Concerns

Nonprofit Seeking More “Safe Place” Sites Across Northeast Florida

The Youth Crisis Center, located in Jacksonville and founded in 1974 is seeking additional Northeast Florida locations to be Safe Place sites where at-risk youth can get immediate help.

Area Safe Place sites are characterized by the yellow and black Safe Place sign, and include police and fire stations, public libraries, local businesses, Walmarts, Sam’s Clubs and Home Depots. Any young person in need of help, on the run, homeless, or trying to escape sex traffickers can go to any location with a Safe Place sign and they will be immediately connected to YCC then taken home or to an emergency shelter.

Nationwide there are 21,750 Safe Place sites in 1,443 communities that have directly helped over 12,000 youth a year. To learn more about Safe Place and how to become a site, click here to read the full article.





Warning Signs Someone Could Commit a Violent Attack; How to React

If you see something, say something- it could save someone’s life.” Kim Sirdevan, President and CEO of Youth Crisis Center spoke to CBS 47’s Jenna Bourne about the warning signs that could indicate someone may be capable of a violent attack. Some signs include loss of temper on a daily basis, announcing threats, plans for hurting others and enjoyment in hurting animals. For the full story click here or watch the video below:




Kids and Officers Work to Address Misconceptions

In 2012 the state Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ) launched focus groups centered around Gaining Appreciation by Adjusting Perspectives, otherwise known as GAAP, with the goal of establishing positive relationships between youth and law enforcement. On Monday, February 12th, 20 kids from the Youth Crisis Center took part in a GAAP discussion covering everything from officer-involved shootings to their own experiences with law enforcement.

We greatly appreciate DJJ for facilitating this discussion as well as the officers for taking time out of their schedule. Click here to read the full story.

First Coast Connect Interview for National Runaway Month 2017

For National Runaway Month, YCC President and CEO Kim Sirdevan stopped by First Coast Connect to talk with Melissa Ross about youth homelessness and how YCC is helping to tackle this issue. Nationwide over 3 million children run away each year. In Duval County, 74% of the 3,000 plus missing person reports filed involve youth between the ages of 13 to 17. Sirdevan mentions that there are many signs to indicate that your child is contemplating running away, but some of the most common are changes in behavior/mood, sleep pattern, and the group of friends, as well as the child not engaging in regular family activities. To learn more, listen to the full interview below.

Jacksonville’s Youth Crisis Center to Add Area’s First LGBTQ Emergency Shelter

About 60% of Jacksonville’s homeless youth population identify as LGBTQ, when the national average is 40%. To combat this, the Youth Crisis Center has joined forces with JASMYN and Changing Homelessness to establish a safe space. Read the full Times-Union article here to learn more about this effort and what it means to the Jacksonville community.

First Coast Living Interview on World Mental Health Day 2017

Kim Sirdevan, President and CEO of Youth Crisis Center stopped by First Coast Living on World Mental Health Day to talk with Charlene Shirk about YCC’s rebranding and focus on early trauma detection while supporting children and their families. The interview also covers ways to acknowledge and help people suffering from trauma in the workplace, which is also the focus of World Mental Health Day 2017.