For over 35 years, Rite of Passage (ROP) has developed a continuum of programs with the centralized mission of improving the lives of youth, families and communities. In 2015, ROP began operating DePaul Academy. Through our work in the South Bend community, we recognized the need for aftercare and transitional services to help young men succeed. To meet this need, ROP established the Woodford Home, which provides an environment with opportunities for young men to build and practice the skills necessary to achieve life-long success.
The Woodford Home houses up to 16 young men ages 14 to 21, and provides them with strengths-based programming within a supportive environment.
The rich 1:4 staff to student ratio supports an environment of pro-social relationships, which assist staff in guiding young men through the daily “real life” challenges of work, education and life within a community setting. A Masters-level Therapist serves as the primary service provider and facilitates cognitive-based and/or psycho-educational groups as well as individual therapy and, based on need, family therapy.
Community-based service and engagement activities are recognized Restorative Justice initiatives that are embraced at the Woodford Home. Participation in these activities allow our young men to rebuild their community relationships by connecting them to resources and providing opportunities to pro-socially engage and develop social responsibility.
Woodford youth are supported in the development of their Service Plans and are expected to engage in therapeutic and wellness activities, learn employment skills and to benefit through paid work experiences and participation in community service activities.
Transitional services and independent living are core components of the Woodford Home. Throughout the program, young men are afforded opportunities to develop and practice the skills necessary to succeed. Guided by transitional planning, young men receive instruction in independent living topics, complete job applications and access community resources and services. These learning opportunities are impactful as young men experience the challenges of employment and budgeting while they save money in preparation for program completion.