Making a Recovery Stew

by Stars Training Academy   1 Comment

I recently had the opportunity to visit a vibrant TAY program located in Indio, California called the Harmony Center. This agency reminded me how engaging and effective TAY programs can be, and how they are able to combine several zesty ingredients into what I’ll call a “Recovery Stew”. Like many classic recipes, Recovery Stew has many regional variations in its fixings, spices and cooking styles — but tends to have some common elements.

Recovery Stew for TAY Providers

  • ADD PEER MENTORS: Hiring young people who have been trained and supported to empower members and provide effective “recovery coaching”. They add the essential flavors of hope, fun and welcoming.
  • STIR IN BEST PRACTICES: Heaping portions of evidence-based approaches such as WRAP (Wellness Recovery Action Plans); and TIP (Transition to Independence Process) help provide a systematic framework of values and practices that provide consistent guidance and skill-building.
  • MIX VIGOROUSLY with COMMUNITY PARTNERS: Developing relationships and alliances with key community resources such as community colleges, Workforce Development programs, family planning clinics and LGBTQ organizations is essential. Supporting these agencies’ missions, attending their events and inviting them to utilize our meeting rooms make an inviting combination.
  • FOLD IN ACCESSIBLE EMPLOYMENT AND EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Young people need continuous opportunities to practice skills, try new roles and meet new mentors. Our hope for young people to transcend barriers of poverty, marginalization and disability require us to develop these resources.
  • SEASON LIBERALLY WITH TRAUMA INFORMED CARE: Most TAY providers agree that trauma disorders are pervasive in this population and that it often goes unreported, undiagnosed and untreated. Trauma informed care educates and sensitizes staff and members to the impact of trauma in young people’s lives, reframes symptoms into heroic coping mechanisms and changes assessment questions from, "What’s wrong with you" to "What’s happened to you"?
  • BAKE TOGETHER with COMPLEXITY CAPACITY: Meeting young people “where they’re at” developmentally, understanding their stage of change, engaging them in a trusting relationship, while addressing urgent survival and safety needs is a challenging culinary art. No single TAY agency can do it all. We need our families, our communities and our support networks to join us in making this Recovery Stew complete.

Serve and Enjoy!

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Karyn Dresser November 2, 2012 at 6:53 pm

Love the creative use of stew metaphor to describe the essential elements and how they blend together!

By definition, young adults are hungry! For opportunities, guidance and partnerships, nurturing communities…and a stew (unlike a candy bar) is rich and sustaining!



Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: