Pictured: Recent Job Readiness Training (JRT) graduates pose for a class photo after their graduation ceremony. For many students, the difference between success and failure rests with their case managers.
Y.O.U.’s Case Managers are creating a culture of encouragement, empowerment, and success for participants in the Day One program. Day One is designed for young adults 17-24 who have graduated high school but are not enrolled in further study or employed. Participants receive training to earn an industry-recognized credential and an internship or job in their selected career path.
Case managers can make all the difference between program completion or dropping out. “Being a case manager means you’re that person who works with the participants to help them through the process and get them to the finish line,” says Michelle Spencer-Newsome, Manager of Case Manager Services for Day One. “When these participants see that our case managers will stand with them and support them, it makes all the difference.”
Each young adult has a team of individuals to help him or her through the process, including a case manager. It’s the support from the case manager that, according to Spencer-Newsome, is the difference between successful completion of the program and dropping out. “When these participants can come in and see that our case managers will stand with them and support them, it makes all the difference.”
Whether it’s helping participants find childcare during course hours, assisting them sign-up for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, teaching young adults how to coupon so they can shop on a budget, or driving participants to the store to ensure dress code compliance for their first day on the job, case management at Y.O.U. means far more than monitoring participants. It means being actively involved and willing to go the extra miles for participant success.
“Case management, at least at Y.O.U., was never just managing a case,” says Spencer-Newsome. “It never was just paperwork or completing a file. It’s sitting down, sometimes a few times a week, and listening – really listening to the participants’ stories and trying to understand them, and then being willing and able to do something about it. It takes a lot. But this is what needs to be done for our participants to be successful. This is what makes the difference. Our participants have the support they need, and they know, no matter what, the case managers are there to help them.”