Community Based Services
At Breaking Free we work with the community as a whole, building on existing strengths and working toward the common goal of a healthy, drug-free community. Breaking Free uses nationally recognized evidence-based curricula that have been proven to prevent youth alcohol and drug use in school and community settings to ensure that our children reach their full potential.
Too Good puts social and emotional learning to work through fun and interactive lessons, building the self-confidence young people need to make healthy choices and achieve success. Too Good for Drugs promotes positive, pro-social attitudes and behavior, while fostering healthy relationships, resistance to substance abuse and conflict, and resistance to negative peer pressure and influence.
Working with school district teachers, trained Breaking Free staff members implement 11 sessions to 6th and 7th grade students during Health classes.
Youth coalitions within the school help to create and promote drug prevention messages and campaigns.
Communication campaigns focus on prevention and education about alcohol and drug use. Campaign material, designed and created by Breaking Free in collaboration with student feedback, are distributed throughout the school to help promote healthy decision making.
After SChool Program
The WeGo Together for Kids 21st Century Learning Programs serve middle school and elementary students enrolled in West Chicago Elementary District 33. The program provides the following services:
After School Programs
Eligible students participate in afterschool programs that incorporate healthy snacks, fitness and recreational activities, homework assistance, and drug and alcohol prevention activities that improve classroom performance, increase school engagement, and reduce the use of alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs.
Breaking Free provides a summer program for youth four days per week during the summer, reinforcing academic skills while providing a safe and enjoyable experience for participants. It includes lunch, problem solving activities, arts and crafts, fitness activities, nutrition lessons and substance abuse prevention curricula.
Family Based Services
Strong, healthy families are the cornerstone of a stable, healthy community. Building nurturing skills in parents and children is the key to building strong families and is fundamental to preventing child abuse. Breaking Free’s Family Based Services prevent child abuse through the delivery of the Nurturing Parenting Program. Working with schools, churches, and community agencies this program is made available to parents and children throughout the area.
The Nurturing Parenting Programs are a family-centered trauma-informed initiative designed to build nurturing parenting skills as an alternative to abusive and neglecting parenting and child-rearing practices.
The program is based on psychoeducational and cognitive-behavioral approaches to learning and focuses on "re-parenting": helping parents learn new patterns of parenting to replace their existing, learned, abusive patterns. Through questionnaires, discussion, role-play, and audiovisual exercises, participants learn how to nurture themselves as individuals and in turn build their nurturing family and parenting skills as dads, moms, sons, and daughters.
Family members develop their awareness, knowledge, and skills in five areas:
Empathy, bonding, and attachment;
Nonviolent nurturing discipline;
Self-awareness and self-worth; and
Empowerment, autonomy, and healthy independence.
Participating families attend sessions at community sites in a group format with other families. These sessions combine separate experiences for parents and children with shared "family nurturing time."