Motto: Discovery of leadership through experience – to build, connect and empower
The Baylor Community Program seeks to:
- Develop future leaders in the field of social work through experience, education, training and empowerment. The program offers social work trainees an opportunity to learn and apply skills in a field setting.
- Serve communities in the greater Houston area by providing experiential education, assets development and leadership training which decrease violence, promote healthy development and empower youth voice.
Affiliation and Organization
Baylor Community Programs are associated with the BCM community through the Section of Adolescent Medicine in the Department of Pediatrics. The program has been working with communities in greater Houston since its creation in 1999. Shelley Gonzales, LCSW, is the program director and has been actively involved with the program since 2004.
On BELAY prevention programs are multifaceted, group experiential education aimed at decreasing juvenile crime by increasing positive developmental assets such as self-esteem, communication, problem solving, emotional regulation and strong adult-child relationships. Learning is gained experientially or “by doing.” Activities incorporate movement, problem solving, and a discussion about the real life application of principles learned. The program incorporates the evidence-based curricula Too Good For Drugs and Violence and the SEARCH Institute’s 40 Developmental Assets.
Building Engagement, Leadership and Assets in Youth. On BELAY began in 2003, was temporarily discontinued during the 2005-2006 year and has been with the Baylor Community Program family since its reinstatement in 2007. The On BELAY prevention program is offered to members of the Pasadena community who live, reside and/or attend school in the 77506 zip code.
A mentoring component accompanies this prevention program and has been offered since 2008. Mentoring is a one-on-one relationship between a youth and a caring, positive adult role model. Mentoring sessions typically occur weekly throughout the school year and are a half-hour in duration. Youth-directed sessions include topics such as academic struggles, family problems, peer relationships, goal setting and future planning. These sessions are aimed at increasing problem-solving skills, strengthening youth/adult relationships, and improving academic performance, healthy behaviors, self esteem and community involvement.
The On BELAY intervention program is a character-building, experiential education program that builds on adolescent strengths to promote healthy choices, reduction in criminal behavior/violence and connection to one’s community/family. The On BELAY program hopes to empower teens to think critically with regard to problems they and other teens face to make changes in their own behavior, and to encourage their peers to do likewise. Group activities promote knowledge and skills about goal setting, negative peer pressure resistance, healthy relationships, decision making, communication, non-violent behavior, emotional regulation, substance abuse prevention, leadership and teamwork. In addition, projects and activities focus on building positive connections between the youth and their community through service, awareness and advocacy.
Mentoring for juvenile probationers is offered in two ways. First, a Solution Focused Brief therapy is offered for six sessions to youth by a masters-level social work staff. These sessions focus on setting a goal to help the youth work on probation status and increase healthy behaviors. Second, traditional mentoring is offered by masters-level social work trainees for the period of one school semester to assist youth apply principles learned in group to help improve their behavior and their lives.
On BELAY Parenting Support Group
A parent support group is offered at the various Community Unit of Probation Services locations to parents who have a youth engaged in the On BELAY program. The goal of the group is to facilitate support for parents and teach basic parenting skills that encourage positive family relationships. Parents are encouraged to participate in a project with their youth to build a connection between the skills they learn and family life.
Social Work Training Program
Trainees are placed with Baylor Community Programs from bachelors- and masters-level social work programs at Texas Southern University and University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work. Trainees receive supervision and instruction from social work staff and learn basic social work skills and their application with groups, communities and families. Trainees learn from a broad array of experiences across the various programs at all sites in Gulfton, Pasadena and Juvenile Probation.
For more information please contact us!
Baylor Community Programs
1000 South Loop West, Suite 160
Houston, TX 77504
Phone: (713) 842-1862
Fax: (713) 747-0014