Executive Director Tim Turner told Rotarians he and his staff assist children become better disciplined in home, social and educational environments from 10 counties throughout West Virginia, Pennsylvania and Ohio. Turner stated he refers to his staff members as “life guides” because of their approach to helping children through leading by example.
“The first thing we do is build a relationship with each child,” he said. “Once this is done and a level of trust has been established, we start therapy.”
Turner reported he started at True Balance three years ago with only one child to assist. Now, he noted, the facility is near its full capacity at 23 children. During this time, Turner stated the organization has successfully integrated five individuals over the age of 18 back into society and returned 13 under the age of 18 back to their families.
The director told Rotarians he awakens the children in his program at 5:30 a.m. each day. According to Turner, this not only assists with medicinal management, but also allows time for the children to get ready and complete their chores. He stated he then takes time to speak with each child before they go to school.
“Sometimes we talk about the daily schedule. Other times we discuss issues we may have had the previous day,” he said. “The most important thing my staff and I do is listen. This helps us understand the child’s views on what is going on in their lives and allows us to target certain areas for therapy.”
Turner noted computer classes are available for children who are educationally deficient or may not be ready to adapt to a classroom environment. In addition to schooling, he stated each child is responsible for planning and preparing their own meals, performing chores and washing their own laundry.
“We make sure they are motivated every day to get up and do something,” he said.
He reported his relationship with the children does not end when they leave the facility. Turner noted he has kept in contact with many of them and has also had several return to the facility to speak with new personnel.
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EFFORTS OUTLINED — Tim Turner, executive director of True Balance Youth Services, LLC, met with the Rotary Club of Weirton Wednesday to discuss the organization’s efforts in youth counseling. Turner stated he and his staff work to establish a relationship with each child in order to encourage their strengths and assist them with their weaknesses. -- Giovanni P. Rossi
Fact Box“The most important thing my staff and I do is listen. This helps us understand the child’s views on what is going on in their lives and allows us to target certain areas for therapy.”
– Tim Turner, executive director, True Balance Youth Services