Youth Opportunity Center
The Youth Opportunity Center (YOC) is a joint initiative of the Recovery School District and the Orleans Parish School Board, the two entities overseeing public education in New Orleans. The Center serves students who are truant or chronically absent, are involved in the juvenile or criminal justice systems, are dealing with significant behavioral health challenges, have been discharged from psychiatric facilities, or have received multiple referrals from the student hearing office. Referrals are made from schools, secure care facilities, juvenile detention centers, psychiatric facilities, and courts. The YOC staff consists of social workers, counselors, and court liaisons, and their role is to connect these youth and their families to the services they need to be successful in school. First, the YOC conducts an initial assessment with the student and family to identify barriers that led to the referral to the Center. Second, the YOC links the student and family to appropriate services in the community. And third, the YOC ensures that the student and family receive advocacy, monitoring, communication, and evaluation throughout their involvement with the Center.