COMPASS specializes in providing services to youth and families that have been referred by public systems, including public school districts and the Department of Children and Families. Each year COMPASS provides services to over 1,000 youth, adolescents and adults. The two core programs, the COMPASS School and Comprehensive Support & Stabilization (CSS) both provide job ready services to the youth and adults they serve.
Transition Classes: During weekly transition classes, students learn various life skills such as employability skills, time-management, money management and more. They prepare for their transition to adulthood by exploring various options available including college and employment. COMPASS supports students prepare for the SATs, write a resume and cover letter, practice for interviews, and fill out college and employment applications. COMPASS also provides students with the opportunity to visit local colleges and attend career fairs.
Vocational Classes: There are several vocational classes offered to students at the COMPASS School including Culinary Arts, Building, Maintenance and Repair (BMR), and Woodworking.
Job Placements: The COMPASS transition team is comprised of a transition coordinator and 2 job coaches who work with students to obtain employment in the community. They supervise and support students who work during the school day and help students build job readiness skills in a real-world learning experience.
Support and Stabilization: Support is provided to parents or guardians, who in many cases, are either unemployed or underemployed. In order to stabilize these families providing a better career opportunity is essential. The job readiness resources are provided to help ameliorate the family’s struggles during this transition.
For many of the older youth, COMPASS is helping in their transition to young adulthood. This often means helping them find their first job. COMPASS helps with filling out applications, interviewing skills, as well as money management. When finding a job has proven to be difficult, COMPASS has connected youth to volunteer opportunities where they can learn skills that will transfer when they find employment.
Family Navigation: COMPASS contracts with the Department of Developmental Services to provide Family Navigation to young adults (aged 22 – 28) receiving services. COMPASS is adapting the Preparing Adolescent for Young Adulthood, PAYA, curriculum to help these young adults with significant disabilities to function more independently.
This fund provides all clients with job related expenses, including but not limited to support for work clothing, transportation, job training, and educational resources.
Research estimates that the cost of a high school dropout over a lifetime is more than $500,000 in lost wages, increased entitlements, and criminal justice spending. Research also consistently demonstrates a positive return on investment from programs that advance academic, social and career skills, with lasting employment outcomes.
I worked with Leigh on a complex case and I wanted to take the opportunity to let you know the amazing work she does. I'm sure you have heard from Leigh how tough working with teens can be, and she has gone above and beyond with helping this family when they are in crisis. Leigh is great with keeping in communication with the Department and in helping come up with great safety plans during wellness meetings and family sessions. Leigh is a saint when it comes to this case! I have such high respect for her as a person and the type of work she does with families. Whenever a social worker or supervisor here in my office asks who is a strong clinician, I always recommend Leigh. I appreciate all of her hard work and enjoy working with her.
Written by South Shore area social worker
"Dear [CSS Family Specialist] Joanne,
We can't thank you enough for all that you have done for Amber and us. Your insight, wisdom and sense of humor have been very much appreciated. Surely you have gone beyond the 'call of duty' - we thank you from the bottom of our hearts. And though the past few years have been difficult there is one silver lining – we have met people like you. And the world is a better place because you are in it. With our deepest thanks and love..."
(family served by the Comprehensive Support and Stabilization Program)
"When my son... was having emotional difficulties in his early school years, COMPASS and its faculty were the only ones to really care about a child's education. They were devoted to giving these children an education by helping them overcome their problems. They are caring and loving people whom really came across to me as being there to truly help and not just for a paycheck. Thanks to COMPASS, my son has gone to college and become an outstanding young man. They even influenced him to follow a career path in helping other youths that may be headed down the wrong roads of life. They are amazing!"
Comprehensive Support & Stabilization Case Worker Steve B. was recently honored with a commendation letter from Massachusetts Senator John Kerry. The commendation came as a result of a letter sent to Governor Deval Patrick by a grateful mother, Gale F., whose family Steve had worked with. In addition to her kind letter, Gale created and dedicated a painting to Steve, shown here along with Senator Kerry's commendation. Her letter to Governor Patrick follows:
Dear Governor Deval Patrick,
I know you are working hard on the concerns and the future of the Massachusetts residents. I know that balancing the budget has to be done. I have faith that you will keep in mind that the future is with our children.
... my request will not cost much. I would like to request 3 state employees to be recognized for their excellent professional family support over the past 18+ months. Their support has made it possible for me to keep myself together through an extremely difficult period in my life. Their jobs are rarely recognized when they are done right but often noticed when something goes wrong. My story starts with my 15 yr. old son's poor attendance at school. The F. High School and... myself had a CHINS placed on my son. He... was found to be a good kid that was headed in the wrong direction.
In the past 15 months, I have injured both shoulders and badly torn rotator cuffs while at work. I came down with a blood infection, for which I had to have therapy to stand and walk again. I have just had the 2nd operation on my shoulders. My mother expired from bladder cancer and 10 days later my sister-in-law expired from a chronic pancreas problem. I have guardianship of my 3 grandchildren, a girl 12 yrs. old and twin boys 11 yrs. old. The twins are developmentally behind with autism. Their parents are going through a divorce plus other problems. My husband has been out of work for 3+ years. Any one of these problems can be hard on a family. The following 3 employees have helped my children with counseling, school support, rides to work for my son, a 2+ months hospital stay, getting through 2 funerals and the past holidays. They have been always available to me and have been called upon throughout this time...
One of these workers, Steve B., a family clinician at COMPASS' Community Stabilization & Support Program, supported my son through school problems, rides to work, counseling, etc. He has mentored my son. He has been a much needed positive [role] model to my son. Steve has been helpful through all the previous named problems. On top of that, Steve arranged time for my granddaughter to be with a female COMPASS employee. He helped get the twins into an Autism program to help with school vacation days.
I truthfully believe if [this] person was not part of my life over the past 18+ months, my children would have paid a price for the problems around them. I have a great need to thank these people. I hope you can see it fit to honor this request for a letter of recognition to these invaluable employees. God bless you all...
"I have had the pleasure of working with [a COMPASS family specialist who worked with a 6th grade student at a middle school site]. I have been impressed by his consistent contact with us at school with regard to his client. The relationship has become important to the student and clearly [the COMPASS caseworker] has provided a 'voice' that the student and the mother are able to listen to and understand. He provides encouragement balanced with a realistic dose of what the consequences are for the student. He has been particularly helpful in dealing with the mother who has what appears to be a... mistrust for school personnel. ...I have dealt with many services over my years in the school system. It is gratifying to deal with a service provider like you."
(LICSW school social worker in reference to our Comprehensive Support and Stabilization Program)
Both Pedro and his older brother graduated with us, and his family has
been very active with the school by cooking for various events, reaching out to
parents and attending all of our functions. Pedro graduated in June 2009.
In June 2007 Pedro was awarded a scholarship to travel to England as part of a youth ambassador group called "People to People." He has continued find ways to help fund his own education, as the recipient of a full scholarship to Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts, Boston. He won a significant portion of that money in a statewide cooking contest.
"I am writing this letter to commend the Intensive Support Program staff. Several of my patients are followed at ISP and I feel the program has had a positive impact on each of them. My patients have developed strong relationships with the staff and as a result are doing much better in the school environment. At the Teen Health Center we are committed to ensuring that our patients stay healthy both physically and mentally. We are only able to accomplish this because of strong partnerships with programs like ISP. ISP has been partnering with the Teen Health Center since first coming to English High. For me personally, it has been an honor and a privilege to have worked with ISP over the last year and a half. Thank you all for your continued commitment to our teens."
(Program Manager Teen Health Center in reference to our Intensive Support Program)
Z. was referred to COMPASS' Intensive Support Program at English High School soon after arriving from the Dominican Republic. T., an ISP staff member, began working with Z. and started to understand some of his learning challenges. An evaluation, done with the support of his parents, indicated that Z. was cognitively low in content areas, and performing several levels below his 9th grade placement. Z. was shy, respectful of others, and had limited English language skills.
T. worked to ensure that Z. received bilingual special educations services in all content areas and worked with him unceasingly to ensure he understood and completed classroom assignments. Z. began to demonstrate a quiet pride in his accomplishments, and his self confidence increased. This year Z. got a job at Stop & Shop, a dream come true for him, as he was able to financially assist his family; he was a great employee. Z. took and passed the MCAS - when his administrator informed him, along with ISP staff, that he had passed the MCAS, there was not a dry eye in the room. Z. graduated from English High School in June of 2012. T. continues to support Z.'s vocational training with the Mass. Rehab Commission. He dreams of becoming a policeman one day...
School Fax: 617-506-8106
CSS/Admin Fax: 617-506-7695
© 2017 Community Providers of Adolescent Services
294 Bowdoin St. Dorchester, MA 02122