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Finding personal limits with Outward Bound

Since 1983, Families in Need of Services (FINS) Community Programs have provided prevention services to youth and families. This program targets at-risk youth and status offenders ages 13-17 who live in communities with high rates of juvenile crime. The program serves youth who are exhibiting risk factors such as problems specific to family, school and substance abuse. We emphasize character development, academic achievement and social responsibility to reduce the risk of dropping out of school, substance abuse and future delinquency. News Article in The Children's Trust: South Dade Family Gets Help-And a New Look On Life

Counties

The FINS program is funded by the State of Florida and is currently for families living in the following counties:

Key Largo Base serves: Broward, Monroe, Miami-Dade, and Palm Beach

Scottsmoor Base serves: Brevard, Duval, Flagler, Lake,  Polk, Osceola, Orange, Seminole, St. Johns, and Volusia counties.

To start the admissions process, please check out the individual pages for Scottsmoor and Key Largo basecamps. 

Risk Factors

The following are baseline risk factors used to determine eligibility of youth served. A youth must meet at least two of these risk factors:

  • Living in a high delinquency zip code,
  • Attending a low performing school,
  • Significant academic problems (including: chronic truancy, suspensions, expulsion, failing two or more classes within a semester,has been held back and/or failed a grade level),
  • Significant family problems
  • History of using drugs or alcohol
  • Exhibiting pre-delinquent behavior

Community Partners

FINS-community students are referred by schools, social services agencies and community organizations such as:

  • teen court
  • drug court
  • civil citation
  • local crisis runaway shelters

Program Elements

FINS-community programs are broken into two components: Wilderness Expedition and Transition Component. Together, through the use of evidence-based model, youth and family focus on:

  • Individualized & family Goal Planning
  • Behavior intervention & Management (includes pro-social and life skills focus)
  • Non-therapeutic Individual, Group, Peer and Family counseling
  • School interventions
  • Family Mediations

Youth participate in an intense 20-day wilderness expedition focused on and promoting success-oriented skill building and mastery in a
wilderness setting. This is followed by an intensive minimum 20-day transition to focus on home and school issues. Families can be served up to 6 months based on need. Youth and/or families participate in the following program components:

  • Individualized and Family Goal Planning: students and parent/guardians participate in a formal needs assessment to determine individualized goals and objectives surrounding social/life skills, education, family reunification, mental health and substance abuse.
  • Behavior Intervention & Management: Students are taught skills that focus on improved decision-making, problem solving, anger management, conflict resolution for home and school life.
  • Service Projects: Students may participate in a community-based service project. As students develop skills to help themselves, they are also involved in learning to care for others.
  • Parent Education: parents are required to participate in activities during wilderness and transition component. Tools are provided to assist parents in strengthening their relationship with their child.
  • Family Mediation: parent(s)/guardian and student create a mediated contract. This serves as a framework for transition and assists in the success of both parties upon the student's return to their everyday life.
  • Transition/Reinforcement: Outward Bound staff meet and work with families in their homes to continue with mediated contract and goal planning. Outward Bound staff also meet with school personnel to provide solutions to ensure academic success. Students receive limited academic credit while participating in wilderness expedition.
  • Additional Resources for Extended Services: upon completion of a FINS-Community program, students and families are provided with information on outside agencies, support groups and resources to support students and families. 

Key Largo Base

The Outward Bound program exposes adolescents to new and demanding situations while enhancing their abilities to meet demands and to act positively beyond their perceived personal limits. From the beginning, students are challenged mentally and physically to do things they never thought possible. Confidence and self-esteem develop as students learn the skills of wilderness living, such as canoeing, camp craft, first aid, and navigation. Students learn that, in order for the expedition to proceed, cooperation among participants is needed; group decision-making and problem-solving skills are learned and responsible behaviors are fostered.

What is Required of Parents?

Parental support and interaction play a crucial role in the success of the program. Through parent education meetings, family behavioral contracts and frequent family sessions, both parents and students develop more effective communications and coping skills. Only students in the following counties are served in Key Largo; Monroe, Miami-Dade, Palm Beach and Broward.

Parents are required to:

  • Provide transportation to and from the program site.
  • Attend two meetings, one on course start day and one on wilderness end day.
  • Write 3 letters to their child while on course.
  • Participate in a mediation session.
  • Participate in home visits during the follow-up phase.
  • For more information, please read our frequently asked questions.

About Our Staff

Outward Bound instructors are skilled at safely leading groups of troubled adolescents on wilderness expeditions. Instructors advise the individual student as issues arise and provide expertise in problem solving.

Key Largo FINS Application & Forms

Admission Paperwork

The following paperwork is needed before starting the 20-day wilderness expedition.
Please print and return to the Intake Coordinator, as requested.

Contact Information

Outward Bound-Key Largo
Wanda Roberts, Intake Coordinator
100693 Overseas Highway
Key Largo FL 33037

Toll Free:  800-327-2995
Fax:  888-230-0048
Email:  wroberts@ncobs.org

 

Scottsmoor Base

The Outward Bound program exposes adolescents to new and demanding situations while enhancing their abilities to meet demands and to act positively beyond their perceived personal limits. From the beginning, students are challenged mentally and physically to do things they never thought possible. Confidence and self-esteem develop as students learn the skills of wilderness living, such as canoeing, camp craft, first aid, and navigation. Students learn that, in order for the expedition to proceed, cooperation among participants is needed; group decision-making and problem-solving skills are learned and responsible behaviors are fostered.

What is Required of Parents?

Parental support and interaction play a crucial role in the success of the program. Through parent education meetings, family behavioral contracts and frequent family sessions, both parents and students develop more effective communications and coping skills.

Parents are required to:

  • Provide transportation to and from the program site.
  • Attend one meeting during the 20-day expeditionary phase.
  • Write 3 letters to their child while on course.
  • Participate in Mediation Session.
  • Participate in home visits during the reinforcement phase.
  • For more information, please read our frequently asked questions.

Our Staff

Outward Bound instructors are skilled at safely leading groups of troubled adolescents on wilderness expeditions. Instructors advise the individual student as issues arise and provide expertise in problem solving.

Course Referral Information

North Carolina Outward Bound's Scottsmoor Basecamp has been contracted by the State of Florida, Department of Juvenile Justice to provide services to adolescents and their families in the following counties: Brevard, Duval, Flagler, Lake, Polk, Orange, Osceola, Seminole, St. Johns and Volusia. A referral and family interview are required prior to a student's acceptance into the program. Equipment is provided, and students need only bring and open mind and willingness to participate.

FINS Application & Forms

Admission Paperwork

 The following are paperwork is needed before starting the 20-day wilderness expedition. Please print and return to the Intake Coordinator, as requested:

Contact Information

Outward Bound Scottsmoor
Dee Caldwell, Intake Coordinator
3500 Sunset Ave
Mims, FL 32754
Telephone: 800-673-3096
Fax: 888-240-3512
Dcaldwell@ncobs.org

 

Who is eligible to attend a FINS course?

This program targets at-risk youth ages 13-17 who live in communities with high rates of juvenile crime. The program serves youth who are exhibiting risk factors such as problems specific to family, school and substance abuse. We emphasize character development, academic achievement and social responsibility to reduce the risk of dropping out of school, substance abuse and future delinquency.

*The FINS program is funded by the State of Florida and is currently for families living in Brevard, Osceola, Orange, Seminole, Volusia, Flagler, Monroe, Miami-Dade and Broward counties.

Where does my child complete a FINS course?

North Carolina Outward Bound has two Florida basecamps where FINS students complete the program. One is Scottsmoor and the other is Key Largo. Please click on the basecamp names to visit individual basecamp webpages.

What are your course dates?

The schedule is available by calling 321-268-5666 for Scottsmoor or 800-327-2995 for Key Largo. Courses tend to fill quickly. Please call for availability.

How do I get my child signed up to attend a program?

The first step in the process is to fill out the application (please be sure to have a referring counselor fill out the portion on the first page. This could be a teacher, guidance counselor, private counselor, pastor, priest, or other professional) and medical information. If you do not have a referring couselor, the family can complete that portion of the application. 

The Second step is to mail or fax the application and medical record to us. Once we have a course opening available our Intake Coordinator will call to schedule an interview with you and your child (who must attend the interview).

At the end of the interview, you will be told if your child has been accepted and which course they are schedule to attend. This is based on receiving all the information required, no further questions/concerns and no reason for further review pending final approval.

You can more information on the individual pages for the Scottsmoor or Key Largo basecamps.

Can we go on vacation while my child is on this course?

 Since FINS means Families in Need of Services, that means it is going to take the whole families support and commitment to make the program a success for the child. The student is not the only ones with responsibilities while on course. The parents also have to agree to participate with the program. We have a parent meeting that Parents/Guardians need to attend as well as a letter writing commitment, being available for the parent session at end of course and being at home visits. Parents need to commit to staying locally for the 20-day wilderness portion and during the follow-up phase until the student graduates.

What happens when the course runs during the school year?

  • Outward Bound Scottsmoor's FINS program is an alternative school in Brevard County, Florida.
  • Outward Bound Key Largo's FINS program is an alternative school in Monroe County, Florida.

While your child is with us, we will withdraw him/her from their current school and enroll them in ours. TYour child will not be recorded as tardy or absent while they are on course. If they successfully complete the wilderness portion of the program, they will receive a letter grade or ½ credits in Life Management Skills. The day after wilderness end, the parents will re-enroll them in their previous school. They will need to make up whatever course work that school deems necessary.

 

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