Community resources are the businesses, public service institutions and charitable organizations that provide assistance and services to local residents. The range of services touches the lives of everyone who lives in a community. Some services impact large parts of the population, such as those provided by public libraries, churches and the post office. Community services can also target a small segment of the population, such as autistic individuals.
Youth programs and services can be offered by churches, schools, government agencies and nonprofit organizations. Youth programs are targeted to children and young adults. Sponsored activities are designed to engage young people and provide them with opportunities to interact with their peers in a supervised environment. Youth programs may focus on one activity or offer many choices. They all promote youth development through social, educational and recreational activities. Programs may also address issues that tend to affect young adults such as teen pregnancy, substance abuse and educational counseling. Programs sometimes choose a focus for their services such as intervention, prevention or leadership skills.
Head Start Program
The Head Start Program provides education, health and nutrition services to children from low-income families. Head Start also provides services to the parents of children who qualify. The program is funded by the federal government. Each local center is independently operated by a local non-profit or public school organization. The application process is also handled by each local Head Start Program. Head Start provides services to both parents and children that promote the physical, social, emotional and cognitive development of each child.
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Substance abuse programs and services can be for-profit and privately-owned, government funded or subsidized. Programs may have to be licensed or certified by the state where they provide their services. Some programs are used by the courts to provide mandated services. The services provided may be court-ordered and a condition of sentencing. The agencies may be able to provide guidance regarding someone who needs treatment but refuses to start a program.
Mental Health Services
Community mental health services treat and provide support for individuals with mental disorders. The services may be provided in a residential setting; residents avoid psychiatric hospital placement. Mental health services can include housing with supervision, self-help groups, individual therapy and group therapy. Some locations are operated as day centers or clubhouses. A community mental health service may also provide ancillary services such as primary medical care.
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