Dispositional Alternatives Program (DAP)
“Alan” is a 14 year old boy who was referred due to severe truancy issues in 8th grade. He had been placed on PINS Diversion and was brought to court due to his continued truancy. His parents are divorced and he had recently begun rebuilding a relationship with his father. His DAP caseworker was able to make a connection with Alan and Alan really enjoyed participating in groups. The DAP caseworker worked with both of Alan’s parents to encourage consistency in their rules and expectations for Alan. Both parents were able to improve their ability to set appropriate limits and consequences for Alan. Alan also worked with a therapist who identified anxiety and depression as contributing to his truancy. The DAP caseworker worked with Alan to increase his confidence and social skills. In the Fall, Alan started at a new, smaller high school which was a better match for him. His attendance greatly improved except for two weeks when he began demonstrating the same patterns as before. The DAP caseworker and the family discovered that Alan had stopped taking his medication and quickly got Alan back on track unlike the year before when the same pattern went on for months. After several months of sustained performance, Alan was discharged from DAP. DAP provided the family with referrals to the Ithaca Youth Bureau and the Learning Web for continued support and opportunities.
“Kelly” is a 13 year old girl who was referred for her aggressive behavior towards her younger brother. Her older brother had recently been placed in residential treatment. All three children had been sexually abused when they were very young. The DAP caseworker quickly identified that sibling support would be helpful in this family and a student intern worked with Kelly’s little brother during the Spring. The caseworker and intern involved Kelly and her brother in groups with other children where they had the chance to interact with other kids and each other in a structured way. Through their involvement in the DAP groups, Kelly began to treat her brother more kindly and even began to stick up for him when other youth teased him. Their mother reported that their interactions at home improved as well and they were able to support each other when one was sad or worried. Kelly also gained confidence by interacting with other kids and gained a wider circle of social support during her time with the DAP program.
“Kevin” is a 12 year old boy who was referred by the FAR team at DSS after an incident with a beebee gun being shot at a car. Kevin’s parents were concerned about his bullying behaviors at school and disrespectful attitude towards adults. The DAP worker engaged Kevin by involving him in groups with other youth with similar difficulties with anger and aggression. This provided opportunities to redirect Kevin’s aggressive behavior. During the time Kevin was involved in DAP, his parents separated and later reunited. The DAP caseworker worked with his parents to provide ongoing consistency in his routines during this stressful time for the family. Kevin was excited to graduate from the program when he successfully transitioned to middle school with much improved behavior at home and at school.
*Names and details have been changed to maintain client confidentiality.
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