What We Do
The Center for Urban Youth and Family Development (CUYFD) is a non profit organization that focuses on preventing personal problems we believe are facilitated by being raised in a foster care environment, or remediating potential problems through education and information to the community. Our programs focus on three key areas:
- Youth “aging out” of foster care
- Community Action
Our programs are focused on young adults in the foster care system who are about to age out (18-21 years old), those that have just aged out (21-23 years old and up) and the community at large.
Services for Foster Care Youth
The Center for Urban Youth and Family Development hosts a variety of services focusing on the needs of foster care youth throughout our community.
The Center for Urban Youth and Family Development works with numerous community coalitions in our effort to provide the best services for our clients, and to help build stronger communities.
Young Adult Parenting Classes
CUYFD offers parenting classes to help teach young parents best practice parenting. Using the Power Source Parenting Program, CUYFD aims to give teen parents, and expecting teen parents the guidance and skills they need to be loving, effective parents and raise healthy children. The centerpiece of the program is the book, Power Source Parenting: Growing Up Strong and Raising Healthy Kids and The Power Source Parenting Facilitator’s Manual written by Dr. Bethany Casarjian, Clinical Director of Lionheart’s youth projects and co-author of Power Source. This theory-driven intervention provides the opportunity to impact the lives of thousands of teen parents as well as their children and future generations. We provide these workshops free of charge. In fact, graduates of the program who attend all the workshops are provided a generous gift for graduation!
We also conduct gun safety training to help reduce gun violence in our communities. Additionally, CUYFD manages an urban farm to help encourage healthy, sustainable food sources throughout Detroit.
We believe that a healthy mind and body are cornerstones to a healthy and prosperous community. We have partnered with the Kids Against Hunger Coalition to distribute healthy food packets to families throughout our community to combat hunger and promote healthy diets. We also have partnered with the Detroit Omega Foundation, Inc. to disribute food baskets throuhgout the community during the holidays.
Between 1993 and 2012, suicide among African American children across the United States nearly doubled, according to a study published in 2015. The steep rise among black children aged 5 to 11, from 1.36 to 2.54 per million children, even as it declined for white children, came as a shock to researchers. While suicide rates for blacks are among the lowest in the nation when compared with whites, American Indians, Asians and Pacific Islanders, suicide is the third leading cause of death for young black men ages 10 to 24, according to 2014 figures from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Yet blacks are about half as likely as their white counterparts to get mental health care, according to a study published last year. Most youth who die by suicide have a mental disorder, such as depression, or a substance use disorder. Youth in foster care are more likely to have a mental disorder or substance use disorder than those who were never in foster care. They are also about two and a half times more likely to have seriously considered suicide and almost four times more likely to have attempted suicide than other youth.
As a youth serving organization, with a focus on youth in, and transitioning out of foster care, The Center for Urban Youth and Family Development (CUYFD) is on the front lines of suicide prevention in our community. Being based in Northwest Detroit and serving the Metro Detroit community, CUYFD is uniquely positioned to make a real impact where it matters. We have carefully researched various best practice methods to engage youth in suicide prevention activities and have chosen the Lifelines Suicide Awareness and Responsiveness Program from Hazelden Publishing as our curriculum. The Lifelines program is based on over 20 years of suicide-in- youth research that indicates an informed community can help to prevent vulnerable teens from ending their lives and is a SAHMSA approved best practice program. We utilize this program to host workshops at local high schools with students, teachers, and staff. As part of the Lifelines community-oriented approach to suicide prevention parents and staff are involved as well. Furthermore, we host suicide prevention workshops as part of our Summer Youth Employment Program where youth are educated in the Lifelines Suicide Prevention curriculum.
CUYFD also engages in QPR trainings as well. QPR or Question, Persuade, Refer are 3 simple steps anyone can learn to help save a life from suicide. Just as people trained in CPR and the Heimlich Maneuver help save thousands of lives each year, people trained in QPR learn how to recognize the warning signs of a suicide crisis and how to question, persuade, and refer someone to help. QPR trained individuals become what are known as Gatekeepers. According to the Surgeon General’s National Strategy for Suicide Prevention (2001), a gatekeeper is someone in a position to recognize a crisis and the warning signs that someone may be contemplating suicide. Gatekeepers can be anyone, but include parents, friends, neighbors, teachers, ministers, doctors, nurses, office supervisors, squad leaders, supervisors, police officers, advisors, caseworkers, firefighters, and many others who are strategically positioned to recognize and refer someone at risk of suicide. We believe that any-and- everyone in the community should be a gatekeeper to prevent suicide.
Prostate Cancer Awareness
Additionally, CUYFD holds our annual Prostate Cancer Survivors golf outing in August to celebrate those that have survived prostate cancer and bring recognition to those currently fighting it. Proceeds go to the Vattikuti Urology Institute to help raise awareness and combat this disease.