Programs

Legal Services

Synergy One Companies, Inc. is dedicated to providing access to justice and free quality criminal and civil legal aid and assistance to educate and empower low income and disconnected youth, other individuals and families.  Our goal at Synergy One is to do everything possible to protect our clients and minimize the impact of the case on our clients in all areas of their lives. Our legal services program provides assistance to young adults ages 16 to 26 who are otherwise unable to afford legal representation and access to the court system.  Our team of talented private attorneys are always passionately advocating for individuals and families across a variety of civil, juvenile, and criminal matters.

Advocacy

Our court advocacy work is grounded in best practice principles for adult learners.  As such,   adults prefer learning situations which are practical and problem-centered, promote their positive self-esteem, integrate new ideas with existing knowledge, show respect for the individual learner, capitalize on their experience, and allow choice and self direction.  Based on identified clients’ needs and interests, we develop a performance plan, in which the client and SOCI Advocate set short and long term goals, and strategies for achieving their goals.  The Advocate works collaboratively with the defense attorney, and the probation and parole officers.  The Advocate writes a court report that highlights the goals, any progress, and recommendations for the client.  These reports provide the court with appropriate community resources and services that are rehabilitative.  SOCI Advocates accompany the client to court and support client and family through the court process.

Employment/Training

Synergy One Companies’ employment and training services assist young adults ages 17 to 26 years old, on their way to self reliance, in gaining enhanced skills, job readiness, and ongoing, stable employment. This is often critical for young adults as they pursue financial stability and self-sufficiency. The Employment Service Program has developed a strong network of information exchange with public and private sector employment placements to access current job opportunities that match participants’ interests, needs, and skill levels. In our effort to promote employment opportunities, We partner with other agencies and individuals.


Our experienced counselors assist our clients in discovering their career passion. Our clients will learn to market themselves to potential employers, resolve workplace conflicts and develop a career plan. We offer a wide range of services that can help the participants regain employment or improve their current employment prospects and to aid businesses to meet their workforce needs.

Case Management Services

Specially trained individuals coordinate or provide employment counseling, financial, legal, social, and referral services to help young adults to acquire gainful employment and live successfully at home and in the community. The counselor/case manager will advocate for individual client and their families to receive entitlements or obtain needed services, including those provided by SOCI.

The counselor/case manager also serves as an advocate to ensure that services actually are delivered, gaps in services are limited and filled, the individual’s needs are recognized, client’s services are not prematurely terminated, and client’s services are terminated when appropriate. Data collected during the implementation and monitoring phases of the performance plan will be used in advocacy on behalf of the client.

Job Coach

The SOCI Job Coach provides specialized training to young adults, ages 17-26 years old. The job coach will help an employee learn to perform his/her job accurately, efficiently and safely. In many cases, the job coach may also help the employee acclimate to his/her work environment. The job coach’s degree of involvement with the employee should decrease over time – as the employee masters the requirements of the position, the job coach will then contact the employee and supervisor on an as-needed basis.

Employees experiencing a range of physical, cognitive and emotional symptoms that may interfere with everyday activities, including work are excellent candidates for a job coach. By providing one-on-one guidance and assistance, our job coaches can help these individuals achieve workplace success. Our coaches can help individuals with any disability identify their particular job challenges, and help find solutions for meeting those challenges.

Leadership Development

SOCI employs Adult Learning Theory in all of its professional development and staff training programs to motivate participants and build organizational capacity for clients.

Adult Learning Theory recognizes that adults, unlike children, need to see the practical application of lessons in order to translate training into improved job performance. SOCI incorporates approaches to learning that are problem-based and collaborative, and provide instruction that relates directly to day-to-day workplace activities.

The six principles of adult learning outlined below, is the basis by which SOCI designs effective training programs for its clients.

1. Adults are internally motivated and self-directed.
2. Adults bring life experiences and knowledge to learning experiences.
3. Adults are goal oriented.
4. Adults are relevancy oriented.
5. Adults are practical.
6. Adult learners like to be respected.  

A.  Effective training is learner focused. Effective training identifies and addresses issues important to the learner, while building on learner strengths. It includes opportunities for active participation by the learner, while recognizing and drawing on the knowledge and experience of the learner. Learning is facilitated through peer exchange, and is culturally and ethnically meaningful. All participants are drawn into the discussion.
B.  Effective training demonstrates productive behavior and effective life skills. Effective training integrates decision-making, planning, organization and implementation skill building. It models and reinforces workplace ethics and productive use of time. Local and community resources are an integral part of the learning environment. Opportunities for learners to expand social networks are provided.
C.  Effective training inspires and motivates. Effective training increases the learner’s knowledge about the subject matter, and reinforces worthwhile values and principles. It provides opportunities for humor and fun during learning, while maintaining a positive focus. Learners leave the session with a feeling of accomplishment.
D.  Effective training celebrates personal and group achievements. Incentives to mark learning milestones are incorporated into effective training. On-going assessment and learner-based feedback is critical to the success of any training session. Learners are acknowledged and recognized for their contributions by the larger community. Opportunities to include children and other household members in the learning process are also made available. Community leaders who can bring other resources to bear on the issue at hand are included as an integral part of the learning process

Home-based Employment Counseling Services

Home-based counseling allows us the ability to address daily obstacles that our clients face and work directly within the scope of their environment. Learning increases in an atmosphere that is the least reminiscent of any formal schooling. We teach “New-Age Life” skills that prepare our clients for success in work and life. Through looking at habits, lifestyle, interests and emotions, we help our clients create a plan to put them on a new course, for employment. Our home-based counselors serve as advocates for our clients and their families. They identify and coordinate needed services and provide services including but not limited to:

· Psycho-educational opportunities
· Life and community skills
· Advocacy
· Case management
· Anger management
· Stress management
· Teaching more effective communication
· Enhancing self-esteem
· Teaching self-monitoring behavior
· Collaboration with other service providers

Our goals for home-based counseling are to provide a range of services to meet the needs of the client and their family, to preserve family unity while supporting the client through the court process, to identify and facilitate change of behaviors that put client and family members at risk, to assess the needs of the client and together develop and implement a performance plan to meet those needs, and to link the client and family with appropriate agencies and individuals to create a community support system.

 

Internship

SOCI offers paid internships to all of our participants. It is important that our clients encounter an educational environment where they can work with and learn from professionals and scholars in related areas of interests. Our clients will work side-by-side and learn from knowledgeable mentors for 35 weeks, four days per week for five hours. One day of the week is for individual counseling and debriefing.

New Age Life Skills

· Attitude – Attitude effects everything else in life.
· Responsibility – Responsibility is a choice.
· Communication – Communication is critical to every relationship in our lives.
· Problem Solving – Good decision making first requires recognition of the core problem.
· Preparing for the Workplace – Attitude towards work will influence success in the workplace.
· Self-esteem – Self-esteem comes from achievement
· Conflict Resolution – Conflict can be either positive or negative. Its resolution is often dependent on our own behavior.
· Anger Management – Anger is a natural emotion that can be managed with constructive measures.
· Stress Management – Taking charge of our lives demands taking charge of our time.
· Critical Thinking – Creating brainstorming can produce a wide variety of problem-solving options.
· Teamwork – Teamwork utilizes both individual and group strengths.
· Customer Service – Customer service is an integral part of our job.

In addition to learning the “New Age” Life Skills, our clients will receive the following additional services:

· Up to six hours of home-based counseling per week
· Up to 20 hours per week of part-time employment in community service assignments
· Job training and related educational opportunities
· Opportunities for placement in full-time permanent jobs
· Access to job search information
· Application and Interview techniques
· Resume preparation

Transitional services such as career planning, retraining and job search assistance are available to individuals who have been laid off or downsized. We do not use grades to evaluate our clients. We offer honest individualized feedback with explicit performance standards. We help our clients set achievable learning goals and suggest ways to meet them.

Tutoring

SOCI provides individual tutoring for clients who need improvement in basic remedial skills. Tutoring is provided on an as needed basis for up to five hours per week.

Drug Testing

SOCI conducts drug testing consistently once per week. Drug testing is mandatory and non-negotiable for our clients who have a history of illegal substance use. Our drug testing program is managed by a trained substance abuse counselor, who is experienced in collecting urine for the purpose of drug testing. We will utilize only instant drug tests.

The iCup drug test is an all-in-one drug test cup that does all the testing for you. Once the donor has provided a specimen, the drug test begins to test the specimen immediately. The results are ready in just seconds and can be revealed by peeling back the results label. Because of the revolutionary design of the iCup drug test, it can be photocopied. Once the results are clear, place the iCup drug test side down on the photocopier using the custom designed copy template. The iCup Drug Test detects 3 – 10 drugs instantly.

Mentoring

Our mentors promote development through career guidance, counseling and visibility; management, leadership while matching mentees with appropriate mentors to provide growth opportunities for the development of our clients as they pursue upward mobility.

Through our mentoring program, our clients will receive the following benefits:

Skills Enhancement - Mentoring enables experienced, highly competent professionals to pass their expertise on to others who need to acquire specified skills.

Professional Identity - When younger employees are early in their careers, they need help understanding what it means to be a professional in their working environment. Professionals embody the values of the profession and are self-initiating and self-regulating. Mentors play a key role in defining professional behavior for new employees. This is most important when employees first enter the workforce.
Career Development- Mentoring helps employees plan, develop, and manage their careers. It also helps them become more resilient in times of change, more self-reliant in their careers and more responsible as self-directed learners.

Leadership and Management Development- Mentoring encourages the development of leadership competencies. These competencies are often more easily gained through example, guided practice or experience than by education and training.

Education Support- Mentoring helps bridge the gap between theory and practice. Formal education and training is complemented by the knowledge and hands-on experience of a competent practitioner.

Knowledge Management/Knowledge Transfer- Mentoring provides for the interchange/exchange of information/knowledge between our clients and professionals from the private and government sectors.

“Today I pay it forward. I promise not to give away, but to lend to others the valuable gifts which were loaned to me. I promise that when I meet another person in similar distress, I will pay my lender back by lending that person the same valuable gifts under the condition that he repay his debt to me in a similar manner, when he is able, and shall meet with another opportunity. I promise that the benefit I receive from paying it forward today, will be rendered again, line for line, deed for deed, cent for cent, to somebody!”

Community Service

The community service program is based on the concept of “paying it forward.” Our clients will learn that by giving back to their communities, they will also gain something for themselves.

They will participate in community service activities, including but not limited to: collecting food for the homeless; registering people to vote and working the polls on Election Day; tutoring, mentoring, and reading to young children; organizing recycling campaigns; volunteering for nonprofit organizations and starting their own charities; and, raising money for schools, disaster relief and medical research. They will be taught how to identify community issues and propose solutions using a five-step problem-solving method: (1) identify the problem, (2) analyze the problem, (3) develop and implement a response, (4) evaluate your action, (5) adjust your response to the problem.

Future Programs

1. The Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP)-serves persons with low incomes who are 55 years old or older and have poor employment prospects. The program has two purposes: to provide useful community services and to foster individual economic self-sufficiency through training and job placement in part-time jobs.

Up to 20 hours per week of part-time employment in community service assignments
Job training and related educational opportunities
Opportunities for placement into part-time/ paid jobs.

2. Job Coach-provides specialized on-site training to seniors who are 55 years old or older and may or may not have a disability. Typically, a job coach will help an employee learn to perform his/her job accurately, efficiently and safely. In many cases, the job coach may also help the employee acclimate to his/her work environment.
Job Coach services include:

Assessing and assisting a person with a disability to develop a list of interests and potential skills.
Performing job analyses at work sites in order to match people with optimal positions.
Providing one-on-one training on a job site.
Providing job retention services to employers and people with disabilities.