MVCS - Island Wide Youth Collaborative


In the third year of the IWYC a strong presence was maintained on the Island. The IWYC assisted these families and individuals utilizing a targeted family systems approach which connected the families with housing needs, financial supports, behavioral health needs and resolving immigration issues to name a few. Through numerous collaborations the IWYC provided a rich array of programming in 2018. Some events and trainings that took place where:

Island Grown Schools Winter Cooking Class 12 young students (grades 3 and 4) participated in this six week program. Educators from Island Grown Schools facilitated the class which focused on teaching preparation of healthy meals using locally grown produce.

IWYC Clinician’s Continuing Education Series Therapists, psychologists, psychiatrists, and other human service providers are required to acquire ongoing Continuing Education Units (CEU’s) to stay current and certified in their respective fields. In order to foster community collaboration between human service providers and offer clinician’s the opportunity to receive in-person CEU trainings without traveling off-Island, the IWYC (in cooperation with Commonwealth Seminars) designed and implemented an Island-wide CEU series. Participants reported that they gained knowledge that could be immediately applied in their practices as well as a better sense of their colleagues’’ expertise.

MVCS - Island Wide Youth Collaborative


The IWYC expanded our programming as well as increased building use with numerous community partners during year two. 145 families received services, 114 children and 31 individuals between the ages of 18 and 26. 288 individuals were served, 18% requiring translation. Those served were provided connections and referrals to various resources: housing, financial, behavioral health and immigration. The IWYC provided numerous collaborations through a rich array of programming in 2017. Events and trainings that utilized multiple spaces included: Pathfinders High School Support Group. NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness) Family-to-Family Classes, Transgendered Support Group, Coffee and Conversations for Parents of Teens and Tweens, Embody Love Movement (ELM) Programming -a two-day workshop for adolescent girls ages 7 to 14, Island Grown Schools Winter Cooking Class, and Immigration Resource Center. As the IWYC enters our third year we are planning numerous community events. The IWYC building has become an anchor not only for MVCS but for our entire community providing space for state agencies to meet with families, for up-island agencies to have a more centralized meeting option and for easier access for our high school staff and students.

MVCS - Island Wide Youth Collaborative

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The Island Wide Youth Collaborative (IWYC) impact on the community has picked up steam serving more than 225 at risk families in 2016 and upwards of 330 individuals. The IWYC assisted these folks utilizing a targeted family systems approach which connected the families with housing needs, financial supports, behavioral health needs and resolving immigration issues, to name a few. The IWYC building operated at full tilt this year providing programs and training for well over 860 Island Clinicians, educators and parents including the Recovery Coach training that took place over four weekends that has resulted in the creation of the MVCS Recovery Coach Services. Without the generosity of MVYouth, the IWYC would not have reached the level of success it has seen over the past two years as quickly as it did. In addition to providing a welcoming, safe space for staff to provide case management services to high risk adolescents and their families, the space allows the IWYC to run parenting education classes, trainings for clinicians and community providers, cooking classes (in collaboration with Island Grown Schools) and adolescent support groups, to name a few. Furthermore, the space has become an accommodating location to hold numerous youth related meetings in the community. We are beyond grateful to MVYouth for enabling the IWYC to provide these essential services to the children and families on Martha’s Vineyard. In the words of an IWYC client: “When I was referred to IWYC I didn’t have much of anything left. I was scared and alone. I didn’t know what was going to be the future I once held so firmly in my hands for my son. The IWYC may not have known it, but they saved my life.”

MVCS - Island Wide Youth Collaborative

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Martha's Vineyard Community Services was awarded funding to build the Island Wide Youth Collaborative (IWYC) Center, a facility that will integrate services for young people struggling with mental health issues and substance abuse, both rising youth issues on the Island.The IWYC Center houses offices for case managers and clinicians to coordinate services, as well as a conference room and kitchen for team meetings and support group gatherings. MVCS estimates the IWYC will support 1,810 young people and family members in year one. Operational funding for many years has already been secured through grants from The Tower Foundation ($300,000 for 3 years) and a state Family Resource Center Grant ($250,000 for 10 years). Through professional development of the Island's mental health clinicians and increased coordination, the IWYC seeks to curtail the rising number of young people and families struggling with these issues, and reduce the number of on and off-island hospitalizations of young people in crisis. The facility is located on the Community Services campus, accessible by public transportation, and in close proximity to MVRHS, the Y and Island Counseling Center. Squash Meadow Construction swiftly built the modular facility. Funding from MVYouth enabled MVCS to break ground in May 2015. The facility was completed in the Fall of 2015.