DCF - Life Skills

"Providing youth with self sufficiency skills."

About this Program - The Community Based Life Skills (CBLS) Programs, located in New Haven and West Haven are funded by the Department of Children and Families (DCF). CBLS provides services for youth, ages fifteen and older who are currently in or transitioning from foster care services. This program provides youth with a set of skills necessary to assist in their transition from DCF care to adulthood.

CBLS provides certification in Life Skills by utilizing the Ansel Casey Life Skills curriculum along with a combination of experiential learning approaches. This service begins with a life skills assessment. Primary caretakers are requested to take part in a matching assessment of the youth's skills as well. Once assessed, a minimum of 100 hours of combined classroom and individual, often community-based, services for each youth is designed. The program length is twelve months. Transportation is provided to and from class by a paraprofessional

The life skills curriculum includes the following domains: educational/vocational planning, career planning, communication, daily living, home life, housing and money management, self care, social relationships, work life, work and study skills and parenting when applicable. Primary care givers are engaged in the program and are encouraged to carry over the skills taught in the classroom to the home environment.

Upon completion of the program, youth participate in a graduation ceremony, receive completion certificates and receive up to a $125.00 check (based on attendance and participation). The youth are also provided a modest stipend (60% of CT minimum wage) for each hour of classroom time that they complete.

The CBLS Educator that works with the youth must have a bachelor's degrees and is required to complete Marrakech's core in-service training, which includes CPR, First Aid, Abuse and Neglect, and behavior management. The Certified Life Skills Educator is certified in the Ansel Casey Life Skills training curriculum and is also qualified to train others on the curriculum (Train the Trainer). The Educator completes other applicable training when made available by DCF. The Paraprofessional has a minimum of a High School diploma and a valid CT Drivers license. The Paraprofessional has also been trained in the Ansel Casey Life Skills Curriculum and is able to assist with the implementation of the curriculum.

Eligibility - To be eligible for the CBLS services, youth must be committed to DCF, reside in foster homes and be at least fifteen years of age. Non-DCF youth are not eligible for this service. The DCF worker is responsible for initiating the referral process. Older DCF youth will be given preference if there are more youth referred than slots available. Referrals will be prioritized with the respective DCF liaison from each area office (Metro New Haven and Greater New Haven). Participants must reside in the towns served by the associated area DCF offices (Metro New Haven, and Greater New Haven).

Contact Information

Gerry Zarra
Vice President of Workforce Development Services
Phone: (203) 389-2970, ext. 1303
Fax: (203) 389-3927
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Tenille Johnson
Certified Life Skills Educator
Phone: (203) 389-2970 ext. 1331
Fax: (203) 389-3927
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Mailing Address:
Marrakech, Inc. Six Lunar Drive
Woodbridge, CT 06525
Main Phone: (203) 389-2970
Main Fax: (203) 397-0658

Relevant Websites

Department of Children and Families (www.ct.gov/dcf)
CT Voices for Children (www.ctkidslink.org)
Jim Casey Youth Opportunities Initiative (www.jimcaseyyouth.org)
Ansel Casey Life Skills (www.caseylifeskills.org)
Foster Adoptive Mission (www.fosteradoptivemission.org)

contact info

Marrakech Inc
Six Lunar Drive
Woodbridge, CT 06525
p: 203.389.2970
f: 203.397.0658

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