Crittenton Youth Services is celebrating its 100th Anniversary Luncheon Thursday, April 19 at 12 noon at Byrne Memorial Hall on the campus of Spring Hill College. The cost is $40 per person. Please RSVP to jlogan@crittentonyouthservices.com or call 251-639-0004. The mission of Crittenton Youth Services is to provide educational services that promote the physical, emotional, and social health of all youth.

A brief history of Crittenton Youth Services

Mobile County Responds to the Needs of Young Single/Pregnant Teens
In 1918, a group of Christian men and women led by Mr. and Mrs. Horace Turner founded the Florence Crittenton Home of Mobile which was modeled after similar homes throughout the country.

Young women in residence and their families received counseling and medical care. During the early years of operation, the majority of residents chose to place their babies for adoption. Prior to 1954, all births occurred at the home.

In the late 1980s, there was a consistent decrease in the number of clients seeking residential care. The stigma of bearing a child out of wedlock greatly lessened; more young mothers were choosing to remain single parents.

In December 1991, the Florence Crittenton Home closed. Crittenton Teen Services emerged as an agency that would focus on educational outreach services in the community. The goals of the services related to helping teens develop a better understanding of sexuality; an understanding of postponing early sexual activity and decreasing teen pregnancy. Crittenton will always remain focused on the children parented by single moms who can be at-risk for a lack of prenatal care, homelessness, social and psychological stress, and dropping out of school. Our connectedness to abstinence exists because of our years of experience in working with teens and young women who were pregnant.

Crittenton Proactively Promotes Abstinence Education for Males and Females
1994-1995 – Crittenton reached 1,318 youth with the abstinence message in schools and youth groups.

1996 -1997 – Other risk topics (alcohol, drugs, STDs, and sexual assault) were added to the abstinence presentation through Crittenton’s collaboration with agencies that specialized in teen risk issues.

1998 – 1999 – Crittenton’s Executive Director wrote Real Talk, an abstinence curriculum, which was acclaimed as one of the top five state abstinence programs and funded by the Alabama Department of Public Health. Crittenton’s staff reached 13,692 students (grades 7-12) with the curriculum.

Mobile Infirmary awarded Crittenton funding for the Baby Think It Over infant simulators which were incorporated into the Teen Options Program for high school students. The goal for the program was to give teens the hands-on experience and knowledge to understand that parenting a baby is difficult and restricting. (1999-2008). The program reached approximately 13,245 students.

Mobile County Public School’s LEA Collaboration with Crittenton funded the new Real Talk Curriculum for grades 5th through 6th. This curriculum addressed abstinence and life skills.

2002 – Crittenton Teen Services changed to Crittenton Youth Services.

2002-2006 – In collaboration with the Children’s and Women’s Hospital, Crittenton received the SPRANS Federal Grant and the Community-Based Abstinence Education Grant. Through the grant funding, the Real Talk Curriculum was implemented in grades 7th – 10th. Approximately 14,212 – 15,652 students participated in the program.

The Senior Ambassadors Program was created to train seniors nominated by their local high schools and interviewed by Crittenton Management/Board Members to instruct/mentor middle school students in a classroom setting. The Ambassadors are always accompanied by the Coordinator. In the beginning, they instructed in abstinence but currently, they are teaching the Olweus Bullying Prevention skills. Twenty-five to thirty-five seniors from Mary G Montgomery, Baker, Murphy, Williamson, Vigor, Leflore, Davidson, McGill-Toolen, Theodore, ASMS, Williamson, Bryant, Blount, UMS-Wright, Saraland, and Satsuma high schools participate.

Crittenton Connects to Its Roots by Helping Teen Moms Have Healthy Babies and Healthy Relationships
2007 – 2010 – From 2008 – 2010, 18,240 students received abstinence training through the new federal community – based grant. In addition, Crittenton collaborated with HIVE Program in Dothan, Alabama to implement S.M.A.R.T.S, a Baby Awareness Program, and the A.R.Y.A Program for developing healthy relationships.
Crittenton Survives and Continues Serving Youth

November 2010 through May 2011 – Due to the redirecting of State and Federal Funding to contraceptives rather than abstinence, Crittenton lost the funding to maintain our staff. The Executive Director taught the abstinence education program in schools, community centers, and coordinated the Ambassadors Program to continue the implementation of Crittenton programming. The Financial Officer handled all bookkeeping and administrative duties from home. Eight hundred and sixty youth were served.

June 2011 – December 2011 – Crittenton received abstinence funding from the Alabama Department of Public Health to implement Managing Pressures to 7th graders. Ambassadors were trained to mentor/instruct in Managing Pressures, an abstinence curriculum, and supervised by the Ambassador’s Coordinator. Sexually Transmitted Diseases for 9th graders and Relationship Smarts for 6th & 8th graders evolved to emphasize the need for emotional, social, and physical skill development in middle and high school youth. The number of youth served was 7,966.

Crittenton Embraces Two Community Issues Affecting Our Youth
2012 – After researching bullying curriculums and meeting with community members, Crittenton in collaboration with Judge Naman, United Way, and the City of Mobile launched the Olweus Bullying Prevention Program in public, private, and parochial schools. Also, an increase in the number of middle school youth who were not communicating their anger, frustration, and lack of belonging to adults alerted educators of the need for small group instruction to 7th/8th grade students (male/female) who had issues at home and school. This marked the beginning of Young Women’s Lives and Young Men’s Work in middle schools funded by the Mobile County Public Schools. The number of participants served is 8,184.

2013 – 2015 – Summer programs at Boys and Girls Club sites, Dumas Wesley, churches, and other youth serving sites have always been a part of the Crittenton mission to reach all youth ages 11-18 with the information they need to make responsible decisions. Media Madness, a curriculum that teaches media literacy, was presented to youth and their parents in our summer programs. Managing Pressures, an abstinence curriculum, and the Ambassador Program were implemented in Washington County in 2015. A lack of funding for Managing Pressures and the Ambassador Program by the State had an effect on continuing the program in 2016. The number of participants served is 27,297 for 2013-2015.

2016 – 2017 – Program Implementations included the following:*2017- New Curriculum
Making a Difference, abstinence program, for grade 8th
Relationship Smarts Plus for grades 7th and 9th
STDs for grades 9th and 10th
Family Support Intervention
Olweus Bullying Prevention training for schools

*PATHS, a curriculum to foster emotional and social development for grades 4 through 5, uses small group lessons for elementary youth who have difficulty with self-esteem, self- control, anger, etc., which affect their classroom academics.

Senior Ambassadors, trained in Olweus Bullying Prevention Skills, teach the skills to 4th – 7th graders in middle or elementary schools where the staff has been trained or is being trained in Olweus Bullying Prevention Program.

Total participants – 12,239 for all programs 2016-2017