Program Definition

Teen Challenge centers across the United States are as varied as the people they serve. From the streets of Brooklyn, New York, to the coast of California, Teen Challenge centers are reaching the addicted of America. From the green areas of the Pacific Northwest to the arid landscape of Midland, Texas, Teen Challenge staff are daily helping hurting youth and adults find hope for their future.

Providing care for adult males, adult females, adolescent males and adolescent females, Teen Challenge has a range of programs for those demonstrating a need for intensive help with life-controlling problems. In addition, non-residential and prevention programs are made available.

Most Teen Challenge programs are structured into two phases, the Induction phase and the Training phase. In the Induction phase, 3-5 months in duration, the participant is encouraged to deal with issues related to everyday living. Typically, the Teen Challenge curriculum, Group Studies for New Christians, is required. These studies cover many of the basic issues regarding discipleship, basic Christian living, and character development. Personal Studies for New Christians contracts may also be utilized for specific issues to that individual.

The Training phase, normally 6-10 months in addition to the Induction phase, involves more in-depth Bible study and practical Christian living from a Biblical view. The teaching is basic to every Christian and is not sectarian in nature. There is more variety as to what materials will be used during this phase. Classes involve personal money management, books of the Bible studies, and devotional materials for personal Christian living. The goal of these classes is to provide the participant with all the necessary elements to live a godly Christian lifestyle without the abuse of drugs or alcohol. Literacy, GED, and Adult Basic Education are also offered at many Teen Challenge Training phases to supplement and enhance the vocational and educational opportunities of the participants.

Adolescent Teen Challenge centers provide the necessary recovery program, but also meet the need for education in the students’ lives. Many young people arrive at Teen Challenge struggling or behind in their education. Most graduate high school in a Teen Challenge setting.

As drug addiction increases in family settings, the need for the entire family to receive help has risen. Teen Challenge now has two has two centers allowing both husbands and wives to enter recovery together.

Many Teen Challenge facilities offer school and church group prevention drug information programs for all ages, after school programs, and community restoration projects. The meetings and presentations that Teen Challenge conducts to inform young people and adults about the prevention and effects of drug and alcohol abuse are another important outreach. Each year, Teen Challenge conducts thousands of presentations in churches, schools and prisons to over 1,000,000 people.

In anticipation of a student graduating, an aftercare plan is developed to achieve long-term goals. This plan might include continuing education, a re-entry house, internship at a Teen Challenge, going home to family responsibilities, or other opportunities as they present themselves. Teen Challenge programs rely on pastors, churches, individuals, and the graduates themselves to assist in follow up and aftercare. If a student experiences difficulties after graduation, reentry into a program of “restoration” is available.

Educational content provided to students is based on the Bible and written for the purpose of Christian discipleship. Students work with staff to relate the educational content to their individual situation. The primary goal of this guidance is not to simply stop the addiction and related deviant behavior, but to develop a whole new way of living - - one free from compulsive destructive behavior.

After years of masking emotions with substance abuse, students abruptly experience drives, fears, and pain that strike at full force and at any time. Teen Challenge provides an atmosphere of support, protection, and encouragement, and, when needed, firm confrontation. The pain that previously allowed drugs to be so satisfying is now used as motivation for change.

Teen Challenge has recognized the need for facilities where a mother can take her children throughout the duration of the program. Teen Challenge now has two facilities for mothers and children. Here, mothers can rest assured that their children are being cared for while they study and learn new life-skills to be prepared to raise their own children drug free.