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Roca: Relentless pursuit and building trust

Roca Youth Worker Calvin Monroe (left) and Roca participant Raynard Smith share a moment. Roca is partnering with the Maryland Department of Juvenile Services to teach Cognitive Behavioral Theory to DJS caseworkers, expanding its reach. Photo credit: Roca

Roca, the violence intervention program that fixates on young men in Baltimore, is grounded on cognitive behavioral change. That’s why, explains Roca’s community partnership director JT Timpson, its model is to relentlessly pursue young men at risk and build relationships with them -- which takes years. Roca is in it for the long haul:

 “Most of these young people, they suffer from distrust. So we really have to provide a way in which we can build a trusting relationship with them that then allows us to challenge them on the behaviors that we see them carrying out each and every day.” 

Then Betsy Tolentino of the Maryland Department of Juvenile Services, tells why case workers throughout the state are being trained in Roca’s model … and how it's meeting success.

Links: Roca, Roca Impact Institute

Sheilah Kast is the host of On The Record, Monday-Friday, 9:30-10:00 am.
Melissa Gerr is a producer for On the Record. She started in public media at Twin Cities Public Television in St. Paul, Minn., where she is from, and then worked as a field producer for Oregon Public Broadcasting in Portland. She made the jump to audio-lover in Baltimore as a digital media editor at Mid-Atlantic Media and Laureate Education, Inc. and as a field producer for "Out of the Blocks." Her beat is typically the off-beat with an emphasis on science, culture and things that make you say, 'Wait, what?'