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A youth development revolution is spreading, and Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Milwaukee (BGCGM) is proud to be at the forefront! After decades of research and passionate debate around the foundations of healthy development, healing, and learning, youth-serving organizations and educational institutions across the nation are declaring that the social and emotional well-being of youth is the foundation of our work. BGCGM recognizes where we need to intentionally build new processes that weave Social Emotional Development (SED) into the fabric of our work, ensuring all children receive the specific experiences and services required for their growth and development.

Everyday H.O.P.E. is an initiative that represents the new process of embedding Social Emotional Development (SED) throughout our footprint, incorporating SED into the foundation of all our services. Informed by results from projects such as MarVan Scholars and the Milwaukee Partnership Schools, we work collaboratively to maximize our impact. Our SED initiative includes a focused planning phase to build systems and protocols, measure progress and implement timely adjustments to ensure the work can be scaled efficiently and effectively.

Resources for Caregivers

Our Social Emotional Development staff compiled a myriad of family engagement activities for member caregivers, parents, and guardians. These activities were designed to support the mental health and emotional well-being of Club members. We invite you to click the button below to enjoy these resources together with your family:

According to Boys & Girls Clubs of America (BGCA), the core beliefs that drive the SED mission, and that are central to youth development practices, include five key elements:

  • A safe, positive environment
  • Access to fun and a sense of belonging
  • Access to supportive relationships
  • Meaningful opportunities and expectations
  • Formal and informal recognition

The BGCA programming blueprint states that these five key elements lay the foundation for SED work; when implemented, these elements help young people build core cognitive, social, and emotional skills. The blueprint states: “Our core work is youth development. The programs and activities we implement are simply the vehicles through which we accomplish our core youth development work.”

An Optimal Club Experience at Boys & Girls Clubs across the country that meets young people’s foundational and developmental needs will result in millions of resilient young adults who are globally competitive graduates with the skills for college- and career-readiness, able to make health decisions that lead to social and emotional well-being.

Our commitment to SED creates the following three tiers of service:

  • Tier Three (Referral Pathways for Youth in Crisis):

    Leverage community partnerships to screen youth for specific mental health needs, and provide swift access to the right resource

  • Tier Two (Small Groups for Youth in Need):

    Use evidence-based social emotional curriculum targeting individual needs in developing self-awareness, self-management, social-awareness, and relationship skills

  • Tier One (Foundational):

    Developing models of embedded, ongoing coaching and professional development to strengthen, support, and inspire staff to use trauma-responsive best practices in their daily work with youth

Coaching for Success is an innovative collaboration among Rogers Behavioral Health, Children’s Wisconsin, Milwaukee Public Schools, Milwaukee College Prep, Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Milwaukee, Alverno College, and the Department of Public Instruction. It is a collective effort to answer the call, “How can teachers and staff be fully supported as they address the myriad of social emotional and mental health needs of our youth, while also taking care of their own mental health?”

As we are acutely aware, a disproportionately high number of Milwaukee youth face barriers to academic and social-emotional success. In response, school systems and community organizations alike have developed a continuum of support ranging from training for direct service staff to behavioral health services for children and adolescents. Yet, there is widespread agreement that a gap exists when it comes to transferring this training into classrooms and playgrounds.

Coaching for Success addresses this issue by placing SED coaches in educational spaces. The coaches are trained by Alverno College coaching experts, who themselves are informed by Rogers Behavioral Health and Children’s Wisconsin psychologists and therapists. These coaches will develop lasting relationships with their coaches, working side-by-side with teachers and staff who elect to be in the project.

Coaching for Success accomplishes the following:

  • Encourages collaborative, reflective practice
  • Promotes positive cultural change
  • Increases use of data to inform practices
  • Promotes implementation of learning and reciprocal accountability
  • Supports collective leadership

Thanks to a $2 million grant from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), Project Thrive will provide increased access to evidence-based, trauma-informed assessment and treatment for children and families in the City of Milwaukee. A partnership between Wellpoint Care Network, Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Milwaukee, and the Medical College of Wisconsin, Project Thrive will serve Club members at eight Club locations, creating and sustaining effective relationships with our youth to reduce the stigma around trauma and mental health treatment.

By the end of the five-year funding period, Project Thrive will have served more than 2,700 individuals. The project aims to provide training in trauma-informed practices to the community and enhance the screening and assessment process to identify youth with needs for treatment earlier and with greater efficiency.