A Better Way is an anger and conflict management program that utilizes cooperative and group learning principles to teach anger and conflict management strategies to female and male youth 12–18 years of age. Youth are referred by probation officers, Family Court, social service providers, teachers, and parents. Youth are assigned to small groups divided by age ranging from 12-14 and 15-18 years old. The typical training program is designed as eight, 1.5 hour sessions delivered on a weekly basis and leading to a certificate of competency in effective anger and conflict management. The training is conducted during school and/or after-school hours at sites throughout the city and delivered by instructors trained in effective anger and conflict management.
The A Better Way Program started in July of 1999. The original concept was designed to serve 120 students per year, teaching youth conflict management strategies after school hours. The A Better Way Program initially only served youth who had been arrested for minor charges and who had assigned probation officers. Typically, there were eight 1.5 hour long sessions held at various community sites, providing youth with anger and conflict management life skills. Today, the Program serves approximately 850 students yearly and the programming has been extended to offer its services to non-probationary youth and community schools.
• Youth do not have to be involved in the Juvenile Justice System • Referrals can be made by probation officers, Family Court, social service providers, teachers, parents or administrators of programs who also serve this population • Female and male youth 12-18 years old