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New Perspectives - June, 1994 Issue #28 


Apple Valley, California
Ralph R. Dickinson, Ex. Dir.

First Chance is a non-profit, Christian, group home for boys ages 12 to 18 and up. It was founded in 1984. The original emphasis was on boys with chemical dependency issues, but that is not a requirement for placement since they are "...looking to work with all boys on their 'Last leg' of adolescence, and who may not graduate or acquire any job skills before they are sent home or put on the streets." 

There are several elements of their program, each designed to give each boy the skills necessary to live independent and constructive adult lives. 

l.) Emancipation/Independent Living Skills. 

2.) Entrepreneurship; the boys have "ownership" and work in small businesses they have "created," such as their thrift shop and their restaurant. Developing work skills is a high priority. 

3.) Clients are required to attend ninety 12 Step meetings in their first eighteen weeks, and at least three meetings per week thereafter. 

4.) Individual Therapy/Counseling as needed. 

5.) Token Economy/Situational Decision Making designed to bring about behavior modification. 

6.) Education is usually provided through local public schools, though on-site home-schooling is available when appropriate. 

Copyright 1994, Woodbury Reports, Inc. (This article may be reproduced without prior approval if the copyright notice and proper publication and author attribution accompanies the copy.)

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