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.
It is with a heavy heart that we inform you that the Families in Need of Service program will not be renewing its annual contract with the Florida Department of Juvenile Justice and therefore, are not able to provide prevention programming through Wilderness River Expeditions to the Florida community moving forward as of April 15, 2020. There were several contributing factors to this decision and we are saddened that this transition was necessary. We have greatly enjoyed serving and working with the Florida community since 1983.
North Carolina Outward Bound School does continue to offer Intercept programming for struggling teens. If you would like more information about that program, please call 1-888-756-2627. If you are in need of more intensive prevention services, please check out some of these other Florida Department of Juvenile Justice Youth Prevention Programs that might be able to help. > Florida DJJ Offerings
The FINS Program, in partnership with the Florida Department of Juvenile Justice, offers FREE year-round wilderness programs for adolescents struggling with destructive behaviors.
Since 1983, we have emphasized character development, academic achievement and social responsibility to reduce the risk of dropping out of school, substance abuse and future delinquency in the state of Florida.
Who Are These Programs For?
The FINS program is funded by the State of Florida and is currently for families living in the following counties:
In Central Florida: Brevard, Duval, Flagler, Lake, Polk, Osceola, Orange, Palm Beach, Seminole, St. Johns, and Volusia Counties.
In South Florida: Broward, Miami-Dade, Monroe, Palm Beach
These specialized courses are designed to help troubled teens ages 12-17 to transition their lives in more meaningful and positive directions. It is designed to help with:
Poor school performance including truancy, suspensions, expulsion, failing two or more classes within a semester, being held back and/or failed a grade level
Anger management issues
Significant family problems
Risky behaviors such as experimenting with drugs or alcohol, promiscuity or sneaking out
Exhibiting pre-delinquent behavior
FINS-community students are referred by parents, schools, social services agencies and community organizations such as teen court, drug court, civil citation, and local crisis runaway shelters.
FINS-community programs are broken into two components: Wilderness Expedition and Follow-Up Component. Together, through the use of the 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
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 10-day transition to focus on home and school issues. Families will be served for an additional 8 weeks with the possibility of continuing for up to six months based on need. Youth and/or families participate in the following program components:
Individualized and Family Goal Planning: students and parents/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 components. 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 program, students and families are provided with information on outside agencies, support groups, and resources to support students and families.
What is Required of Parents?
Parental support and interaction play a crucial role in the success of the program.
Parents are required to:
Obtain necessary paperwork to enroll their child in our program.
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.
North Carolina Outward Bound School is a registered 501(c)(3). Contributions are therefore tax-deductible to the full extent provided by the law. Financial information about North Carolina Outward Bound School is available from the NC State Solicitation Licensing Branch at (919) 733-4150.