Heros & Sheros provides afterschool and summer full day programming including individual, group and family therapy, case management, academic support, educational groups, crisis intervention and Alcohol, Tobacco and Other Drugs (ATOD) prevention. The program is designed to provide children and adolescents between the ages of 6 and 18 with a strong cultural foundation which values appropriateness, excellence, reciprocity, interdependence, and cooperativeness in an effort to assist them in adjusting to the myriad of changes that occur in the family unit as a parent becomes sober during the completion of substance abuse treatment.
The Heros & Sheros Program was established in September 1991 to address the high risk of alcohol and drug use with the children of substance abusers as well as other problems related to their healthy development. Because SHIELDS for Families provides services that are family focused, Heros & Sheros was designed to help address the needs of children in drug affected families with both preventative and therapeutic services.
Heros & Sheros provides culturally-competent drug/alcohol, child abuse, and juvenile crime prevention services for school age and adolescent youth who reside in substance abusing families or high risk communities in South Central Los Angeles. These services are provided on-site at SHIELDS’ Genesis and Exodus programs and include individual, group and family therapy; Functional Family Therapy; groups to improve leadership skills; drug education and prevention; social skills/coping skills, cultural awareness and self-identity; comprehensive case management services; academic support and tutoring; recreational activities; crisis intervention; and a full day summer program.
As a result of these services, Heros/Sheros has been instrumental in helping children adjust at home/school, in stablizing family interactions, and empowering youth with skills that prepare them for college and adulthood overall.
Heros & Sheros is recognized within the LA Unified and Compton Unified school districts for its excellence in student advocacy.
Participants of the Heros & Sheros program were highlighted in the reality show Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew (Season 3, Episode 8 – original air date 02/25/10).
A substantial percentage of participants within the Heros & Sheros program have not only enrolled in college but have also graduated from university study.
Heros & Sheros has been the subject of multiple educational/research studies by service providers across the country and was cited as a best practice program by the California Institute of Mental Health.
The progress of the youth involved has been monitored since program implementation utilizing seven standardized assessments.
Program results indicate that: 77% have improved self esteem, self confidence and cultural awareness; 75% improved grades in Math and English; and 80% have committed to a drug free life.