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De La Salle Vocational

Overview

De La Salle Vocational is a community based program located in Bensalem, PA (transportation provided from a central location in Philadelphia) for youth 16.5 – 18 years old. De La Salle Vocational has implemented a Sanctuary Model of Trauma-Informed Care as part of the therapeutic milieu for all clients and staff. A year-round academic program is offered as well as Career and Technical Education in the following areas: Building Maintenance and Repair, General Carpentry, Auto Services, and Culinary Arts. We are pleased to also provide a new program through our partnership with the Pennsylvania Academic and Career/Technical Training Alliance (PACTT): Learn to Earn, which provides service learning projects, opportunity to achieve a high school diploma, paid internships, mentorship in the workplace, and preparation for full-time employment.

History

De La Salle Vocational started September 11, 1974 with the same vision as De La Salle in Towne: to provide a vocational and educational solution for youth who made much progress while at Saint Gabriel’s Hall, but were lost when they returned to the environment of their homes and/or previous schools.

The school was originally started with only five St. Gabriel’s students enrolled to receive vocational training. De La Salle Vocational’s first three trades (auto mechanics, carpentry, and graphic arts) were soon augmented by auto body.

According to “A Century of Service: In the spirit of Saint John Baptist de la Salle) by Brother Joseph L. Grabenstein, FSC, Archivist

• Started September 11, 1974 with the same vision as De La Salle in Towne: to provide a vocational and educational solution for youth who made much progress while at Saint Gabriel’s Hall, but were lost when they returned to the environment of their homes and/or previous schools.
• De La Salle Vocational started with a small number of St. Gabriel’s students who were to initially receive vocational training; only five were enrolled.
• De La Salle Vocational’s first three trades (auto mechanics, carpentry, and graphic arts) were soon augmented by auto body.

Program Requirements

• Male youth, ages 16.5 – 18 years
• Youth must be adjudicated delinquent
• Full scale IQ of 70 or above, minimum of 3rd grade reading level
• Youth must be able to fully participate in treatment, without severe restrictions from physical activity (medical clearance may be required)
• Youth with a history of abusive behaviors, serious sexual offenses, fire setting or severe emotional, psychological or psychiatric disorders will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis
• Youth must have a parent or guardian who is willing to participate as a member of the treatment team

Components of Treatment

• Individualized educational placements and treatment planning based on previous academic experience, levels of achievements, credits earned and social service needs
• Small class size: teacher to student ratio is 1:10
• Individual, group and family counseling
• Comprehensive social work services to youth and family
• Monthly in-home visits with family
• School to Work Program in which clients must complete 120 hours of employment prior to graduation