serving the youth and families of Colorado, Fayette, and Austin counties in Texas (The STAR Program is available in every county in the state of Texas. If you are not a resident of Austin, Colorado or Fayette County, please contact us & we will give you the contact information for the STAR provider for your area of Texas.)
Program Director: Twyla Dodson, LCDC
Caseworkers: Austin County-vcacant, Colorado County-Sarah Hernandez & Lori Moore, Fayette County- Lori Moore
The STAR programs priority is to strengthen the family and keep the family together. Counseling sessions focus on identification of family strengths, coping with stress, problem solving, goal setting and achievment, improving communication & parent support. Referrals to the STAR Program may be made by parents/gaurdians, school personnel, Dr.'s offices, child care providers, HeadStart programs, ECI, WIC, mental health providers, probation departments, judges, police departments, etc. Youth may also refer themselves. Referral forms are available for professionals who wish to refer someone to services or you may call and a referral form can be completed via phone. Completed referral forms may also be faxed to our office. Due to funding source restrictions we are unable to receive completed referral forms via email nor are we permitted to discuss specific client information via email. All STAR services require parent, gaurdian or primary caregiver's written permission before a youth (of any age) may receive counseling services.
Youth and/or parents may access services directly by calling one of our offices and asking to speak to someone in the STAR program. There is no charge at any time to any participant for any STAR service.
STAR services available:
Short term family and individual youth counseling
Youth and parent skills groups
24 hour crisis intervention
Community Based Child Abuse Awareness/Prevention Information
Temporary youth shelter placement
Activities for STAR services include the following:
Short Term Family and Individual Youth Counseling
Counseling for youth ages newborn to 17 years of age (18+ years of age or as long as the youth is still in high school) and their families focuses on resolving family conflict. Family conflict is broadly defined and includes: stressors as a result of normal adolescent development such as talking back, acting out, poor/no communication between parents & children, problems in school such as poor/failing grades, expulsion from school, assignment to alternative school campuses, ISS, etc., separating or divorcing parents, death of a loved one, chronic illness of a family member, issues between siblings, newly blended families, truancy, juvenile delinquency, and runaway issues. Counseling sessions may be provided in the school setting, in the home or in one of our offices located in Columbus, Sealy or LaGrange. Evening appointment times are available.
Youth and Parent Skill Building Workshops
Topics include Problem Solving, Trust Building, Communication, Feelings Identification/Self-Awareness, Anger Management, Assertiveness Training, and Parenting Skills. This service is typically in a group setting and is 6 weeks in length. Parenting Skills Groups are typically held in the evening. Parents participating in this service must have a child/children participating in the counseling services described above. Youth Skills Groups are typically held on the school campus the child attends during the school day. In order to participate in Youth Skills Group the child/children must be participating in the counseling services described above.
24 hour Crisis Intervention
Crisis Intervention services are available 24 hours per day, 7 days a week via telephone. Crisis is defined as an acute emotional state, which if not intervened upon will likely escalate. Crisis Intervention is not apporpriate for situations which are deemed life threatening, those instances would neccessate calling 911. The goal of crisis intervention is to stabilize the immediate crisis. Referral information & recommendations will be given to the caller after the crisis is stabilized, with the goal being to achieve long-term resolution of the problem/situation that led to the crisis.
Successful Parenting Workshops (Parenting Classes)
YFS believes parenting children is one of the hardest tasks faced in ones lifetime. While full of rewards, most parents would say they have at times, felt overwhelmed by their children at some point. Successful Parenting Workshops consist of six sessions, meeting one evening per week, usually from 5:30pm-6:30pm in Austin (Sealy) Colorado (Columbus) & Fayette (LaGrange) Counties. We faciltiate these workshops one time per year per county. These workshops are geared to support parents, teach positive disciplining techniques and improve communication skills. See the "Events" tab for information on the dates & location for the next workshop series.
Community Child Abuse Awareness/Prevention Presentations/Information Dissemenation
Providing child abuse prevention education to the community through information presentations, distribution of prevention literature, and promoting awareness of prevention issues.
Temporary Youth Shelter Capability
Youth may receive temporary, short term shelter services if the youth is homeless, is an out of area runaway awaiting family reunification or is in a situation deemed to be physically unsafe. Shelter services are not available locally so the decision to shelter a youth is made only after all other options have been exhausted. Youth must be registered in the STAR data base & opened for STAR counseling services in order to receive shelter services.
The STAR program is partially funded by the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services.