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Open Hand Foundation
African Women Health Project Internationa

TheOpen Hand Foundation (OHF) Program serves up to ten young women, ages 15-18, who are referred from Children and Youth Services and Juvenile Probation. Most residents are in need of assistance with life skills, education, and vocational training in order to progress toward independence. Some may be able to return to their families if their behavioral issues can be adequately resolved. Some require family therapy to reintegrate.

Others with substance abuse or mental health issues must also be willing to address these issues and abide by treatment recommendations. The OHF program provides a structured and supportive setting for these at-risk young women to set new goals and work to accomplish them.

The Mission
The mission of Open Hand Foundation Program is to support young people and families in meeting the critical challenges of family life within a safe and stable environment. OHF partners with families to find positive, non-institutional solutions and builds on existing strengths within a framework of dignity, mutual respect, and personal responsibility.

The OHF program’s goals are to:

  • Prevent runaway behavior, out-of-home placement, and involvement by at-risk young people in the social services, juvenile justice, or correctional systems, and enable homeless young people who cannot live with their families to develop the necessary skills and resources to live independently.

  • Provide education, counseling, crisis intervention, and case management services to children, youth and their families who are in crisis or at risk.

  • Strengthen and preserve the family unit and enhance the ability of families to solve problems and to build on their strengths.

Population Served By OHF Program:
Children 7-12 All At Risk
Youth 13-21 All At Risk
Adults New Immigrants
Elderly Individuals with a mental or physical disability
General Population

The OHF program assists participants in the following areas:

  • Completion of HSED/GED
  • Career exploration
  • Enrollment in a technical college/university including financial assistance for post-secondary education in high demand career areas
  • Completion of Financial Aid forms
  • Financial Literacy
  • Connection with area resources

On average, individuals receive assistance from the program for 2 to 4 years, meeting with their case manager about once per month.

Prevention and Intervention Programs for Children and Youth who are Neglected, Delinquent, or At-Risk is:

  • to improve educational services to children in local and State institutions for neglected or delinquent children and youth so that such children and youth have the opportunity to meet the same challenging State student performance standards that all children in the state will be expected to meet;

  • to provide such children and youth the services needed to make a successful transition from institutionalization to further schooling or employment; and

  • to prevent at-risk youth from dropping out of school and to provide dropouts and youths returning from institutions with a support system to ensure their continued education.

  • Programs providing mentoring and peer mediation.

  • to carry out high quality education programs to prepare children and youth for secondary school completion, training, employment, or further education;

  • to provide activities to facilitate transition of such children and youth from correctional program to further education or employment; and

  • to operate programs in local schools for children and youth returning from correctional facilities and other institutions, and programs which may serve at-risk children and youth.

Admission Criteria:
Any youth who is living in Arkansas; between the ages of 13 and 21; and who have encountered any of the following challenges in their life is eligible to participate:

  • At or below 9th grade level in reading or math
  • School dropout
  • Homeless, runaway, or foster child
  • Pregnant or parenting
  • Interaction with the legal system
  • In an alternative school or identified as at-risk by their local school district

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