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Step-Up Program

Learn more about how Step-Up addresses youth violence toward family members by building respectful relationships.

Step-Up believes that respect is the heart of all healthy family relationships. Step-Up's goal is to stop youth violence toward family members and move from abuse to respect.

Violent behavior includes:

  • Threats
  • Intimidation
  • Property destruction
  • Degrading language
  • Physical violence

The program teaches how to resolve conflict and handle parent–teen problems without abuse or violence. Parents or caregivers and youth learn together in a group setting with other families.

Families learn these skills in Step-Up:

  • Non-threatening behavior
  • Being trustworthy
  • Communicating respectfully
  • Problem solving
  • Being accountable to the family
  • Choosing to stay non-violent

What we do

We are part of the Family Intervention and Restorative Services (FIRS) team.

Our services include:

  • Step-Up skills-based and restorative practice groups
    Together, parents and teens learn and practice skills for respectful communication and problem solving in 3 groups:
    • Teens and parents both come to group once a week for 90 minutes.
    • Teens work in a youth group and learn skills to prevent the use of violent behavior and gain understanding about violence, abuse and power vs. respect, trust and safety in family relationships.
    • Parents work in a parent group where they learn safety planning and parenting skills to support their youth.
    • In parent/teen group, families learn a respectful family model for addressing conflict together. 
  • Family violence assessments

  • Safety planning

  • Community education about adolescent domestic violence with family members

Who can use the program

You may self-refer your family to this program by contacting us. You can also be referred by:

  • Community agencies, counselors, schools or other helping professionals
  • Juvenile Court staff or programs, including Family Intervention and Restorative Services (FIRS), probation counselors, judges, At-Risk-Youth program, Family Court, attorneys, and other programs serving youth
  • Police officers responding to calls for help when a youth is violent in the home. 

Parents and caregivers attending Step-Up have included:

  • Step-parents
  • Grandparents
  • Aunts and uncles
  • Foster and adoptive parents
  • Adult siblings or family friends who have been in a caregiver role

Tips to encourage your teen to attend Step-Up

  • Tell your teen about the ARY Petition and give the option of not filing an ARY if they participate in Step-Up .
  • Ask your teen to “try it out” by coming to 2 or 3 sessions to see how it is. Youth often find out that it is helpful and want to continue.
  • Let your teen know that going to Step-Up will help prevent a call to the police. For teens who are concerned about police intervention, this can be a motivation to attend.