Relationships That Matter

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Poster created by youth in TOP for last year's LISTEN UP! contest



LISTEN UP! 2017 Poster Contest 

LISTEN UP! Is a service learning project organized by Oasis Center for youth participating in TOP at residential treatment settings in TN. Youth are invited to create posters that communicate to adults what it takes to be an effective adult ally for youth in care. Each year, more than 100 youth submit posters and stories. This year LISTEN UP! entries are due  May 3, 2017.  To participate, TOP providers should contact their Oasis TOP Managers.  Art supplies provided and contest winners receive cash prizes.

TOP Learning Collaborative Partners and  Implementation Sites

Oasis Center
UTHSC Center of Excellence for Children in State Custody

Florence Crittenton Academy
G4S Academy for Young Women
G4S Stones River Academy
Gateway to Independence
Holston Home
Metro Nashville Juvenile Court
Monroe Harding
Madison Oaks Academy
Mountain View Youth Development Center
Volunteer Youth Academy
Wilder Youth Development Center
Youth Villages, Nashville
This newsletter is produced with funding from the State of Tennessee.
What Is a "Caring Adult" Anyway?
"Caring Adults" are a key ingredient of the TOP model.  But, what actually characterizes a good youth-adult relationship, one that truly benefits young people?  To answer that question, the Search Institute developed and has been conducting research over the past few years on the Developmental Relationships Framework. Summarized below are the elements Search found to be most important for adult relationships that actually support young people's healthy development:

Express Care - Show me that I matter to you. Listen, encourage, be trustworthy.
Challenge Growth - Push me to keep getting better, to reflect on mistakes and to live up to my potential.
Provide Support - Help me complete tasks and achieve goals. Guide me through hard situations.
Share Power - Treat me with respect and give me a say. Take me seriously and treat me fairly. Provide opportunities for me to lead.
Expand Possibilities - Connect me with people and places that broaden my world. 

These elements certainly make a good TOP Facilitator. In addition, TOP program activities provide opportunities for youth to try new things, practice adult roles, and exercise voice and choice, experiences that that are vital to healthy development for any young person.
TOP By the Numbers
Oct. 2015 - Sept 2016
  • 12 agencies at 22 sites in TN implementing TOP
  • More than 1,000 youth engaged.
  • More than 11,600 volunteer hours contributed by youth in TOP
  • 124 staff trained as TOP Facilitators

New TOP Curriculum
In late summer 2017 the Wyman Center is scheduled to release a revised, updated curriculum for TOP. Oasis Center will provide hard copies to all TOP sites, replacing the Changing Scenes curriculum. A schedule for switching to use of the new curriculum will be forthcoming in fall 2017.

Copyright © 2017 Oasis Center, All rights reserved.

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