I would like to share with you one of the very effective tools – Ministry Aids – that I used consistently during my 23 years of working at local Teen Challenge ministries. That tool is the regular Student Evaluation in conjunction with the Advisory Report. These forms were influenced by the Principles of Biblical Counseling course that we offer through the Teen Challenge national office. I am sharing this Ministry Aid not as something you “must use.” You may wish to use it as it is, it may only affirm what you are already doing, or it may give you fresh ideas. Let it spark your heart and imagination to fresh and creative ways to effectively communicate with your staff and students and improve the quality of your ministry. Click here to download a copy of the document we will be talking about.
- Student Evaluation
The first part of the tool is the Student Evaluation form. A weekly or biweekly staff meeting is held to evaluate each student. As many staff as possible attend the meeting. I was able to facilitate the attendance of all staff for the student evaluation by having regular trained volunteers who came in to do teaching/training with the students. Having as many staff as possible attend the meeting and share their personal observations helped to develop a well rounded picture of where each student was, rather than depending on the observations of only one staff, which can sometimes produce a lopsided picture. This evaluation meeting helped all of the staff to “be on the same page” with regards to the wellbeing of each student.
Students are evaluated in the areas of work, academics, conduct, spiritual growth, and other. With regards to “other” we reported on what was happening with such things as probation, family, physical or medical issues, etc. The primary goal is to observe patterns of behavior and attitude and determine the “focus need” for each student; what area or issue did we need to help them with. These evaluations often served in determining the theme of a student’s upcoming PSNC contract.
The Principles of Biblical Counseling staff training course offered by the Teen Challenge national office was the inspiration for the “focus need.” If your staff does not have any Biblical Counseling training, this course is a basic course that will be of great benefit.
- Advisory Report
The Advisory Report was copied directly on the reverse side of the Student Evaluation with a place to transfer the “focus need” to. The advisor assigned to that particular student was to talk to the student about that need at some point during the next upcoming advisory meeting. An important part of the Advisory Report is the “secured commitments.” The “secured commitments” is again based on the Principles of Biblical Counseling training. A “secured commitment” is simply the action steps or goals the student committed to in order to move forward in the areas they need to grow in. For the most effective use of “secured commitments,” the student advisor must follow-up at the next advisory student session by having the student give a report on how they did with their action steps or goals. This holds the student accountable for their goals.
The completed Advisory Report is returned to the program director (or designated staff) to hold the advisor accountable for their advisory responsibilities.
- TC USA File Share
These forms are available on the Teen Challenge USA website staff page. Staff.TeenChallengeUSA.com. After you log in to your center click on “file share” on the yellow bar and search “counseling” to find the form.
Teen Challenge USA File Share is available for you to share your “best practice” ideas with all Teen Challenge centers. The File Share site was developed as a result of hearing your needs and desires at the 2011 regional conferences. This tool was developed because you asked for a way to share your best practices with other centers and learn from others. So upload your best practice forms, policies, procedures, etc! And, be sure to look here for resources to enhance your ministry.