The training aims to equip each YSS to teach a daily Reconnecting Youth class and provide confidential counseling, substance abuse prevention, and referrals to other community organizations.

YSS, employed by the Council on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse, provide a continuum of alcohol and drug related prevention and intervention services on every junior high and high school campus in Santa Barbara, Goleta and Carpinteria. Studies show that 1 in 4 Santa Barbara secondary students is in need of substance abuse intervention and/or counseling. YSS seek to provide a safe, supportive environment where teens can get support for their alcohol, drug, and related issues.

Held in The Globe Theater at Santa Barbara Junior High school, the training included collaborative sessions to bring together youth service providers throughout the county. “Working with Teens in Crisis” invited representatives from Child Welfare Services, CALM (Child Abuse Listening & Mediation), S.A.F.T.Y (Safe Alternatives for Treating Youth), Noah’s Anchorage, and the Rape Crisis Center to share resources and expertise in order to provide the best service for teens in crisis. “Youth Substance Abuse Programs” brought together the staff of Daniel Bryant Youth and Family Center, Fighting Back Mentor Program, SUPER (Substance Use Parent Education Resource), and Teen Court. In his presentation Ed Cué, Director of Daniel Bryant Youth and Family Center, commented “This is an opportunity for the YSS’ to establish open lines of communication with other programs. Our goal is to provide seamless and interconnected services that gravitate from prevention to intervention to treatment and aftercare to ensure lasting sobriety and success for our clients.” The session focused on bridging gaps between substance abuse services for teens.

Training continues through next week. On August 16th and 17th, the Santa Barbara Teen Coalition will join forces with the YSS to work on further integration of services and prepare for the challenges and joys that lie ahead in a new school year of working with teens.


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