The Children's Guild school-to-work program prepares students ages 14 to 21 who are developmentally delayed and not able to work toward a high school diploma for employment and future independence. The program helps those students earn a certificate of program completion and develop their special interests and talents into work skills that will help them become and stay employed.
School-to-Work operates 10 months during the year at The Children's Guild's Baltimore campus. Students in the program also can attend a summer school session, if required by their Individual Education Program (IEP).
Preparation for Independence
The School-to-Work program takes many steps to help create the best conditions for students' success.
- Faculty comprehensively assess students to determine their talents, abilities and areas of career interest.
- Teachers provide students academic instruction for daily living and employment.
- Students acquire independent-living skills, such as money management, household maintenance, citizenship, grooming, how to make and keep friends, and how to take care of medical needs.
- Students develop recreational skills to enhance personal and professional relationships, as well as expand proficiency in special areas of interest.
- Students acquire socialization skills to increase their chances for success at home, at work and in the community.
Students in the program work with a team of a special education teacher, a teaching assistant, a master's-level licensed school counselor and several vocational specialists. The team is supported by a board-certified psychiatrist, a speech and language therapist, an occupational therapist and a school nurse.
On-the-Job Training and Job Placement
Students learn about different types of employment through field trips and guest speakers, while the faculty team learns what kinds of work students enjoy.
Career coaches work on site with students, teaching them job skills and behaviors for sustaining employment. When students are employed, the job coaches work side by side with them until they are ready to work independently.
One aspect of the program is The Children's Guild's partnership with businesses in the community. The school-to-work team supervises several vocational training experiences, including:
- Building maintenance
- School-focused materials prep shop
- Student-run, full-service bistro
- Mock hotel
The Children's Guild encourages parent involvement in the school-to-work program. Parents receive regular contact from the teaching team, attend team meetings and family counseling, and receive a subscription to the program's newsletter, The Mentor.
The Children's Guild provides numerous related services to school-to-work students, including:
- Case management
- Crisis intervention
- Individual, group and family counseling
- Medication management
- Occupational therapy
- Psychiatric evaluations
- Speech and language therapy