Programs and Locations
Valley Star believes that efforts focused on helping system-involved youth to establish independent, permanent, healthy, productive lives in the community have been underwhelming. In part, this may be due to the target population's need for culturally and linguistically appropriate support that address their specific needs and life experiences. The Inter-Agency Youth Resiliency Team at Valley Star Children and Family Services seeks to help foster youth and system-involved youth, particularly transitional aged youth (TAY), to gain caring relationships and coordinated, culturally-responsive, trauma-informed support services to help them achieve permanency and self-sufficiency as they transition to adulthood. IYRT utilizes the Transition to Independence Process (TIP).
Each year Valley Star proposes to serve 200 diverse, high-risk dependents of CFS and wards under court order being supervised by the County Probation Department. These are youth who are unlikely to return home, and are at high risk for lifelong involvement with justice, CFS and mental health service systems due to their life experiences to date: grief and loss; exposure to child abuse, violence and gangs, exploitation and neglect; and environmental trauma from system involvement.
Valley Star will also work with 100 resource providers in the East Valley, including foster and birth parents, kin caregivers, Foster Family Agencies (FFA), group home providers, and other key youth support people. These providers need assistance in system navigation, and support in their own relationships with system-involved youth, including helping youth build coping skills, making permanent relationships and community connections and resolving issues related to grief, loss and trauma.
The Inter-agency Youth Resiliency Team (IYRT) mentoring program in San Bernardino County has so far formed 60 mentor matches with current or former foster or probation youth with young adult mentors that have had similar experiences. Mentoring is a relationship-based intervention, and as such, requires a service design focused on strong relationship building. Thus, it is critical to identify and understand needs and help-seeking behavior of target populations, and to match trainings, activities and services to their unique needs. The IYRT service design takes these principles into account in the areas of ethnicity, culture, language, age and involvement in service systems.
Wandalyn Lane, Program Coordinator
Valley Star Children and Family Services
Phone: (909) 388-2222, extension 132
1585 S. "D" Street, Suite 101
San Bernardino, CA 92408
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