Client Case Example #3: JJ, Age 13, Newark, N.J.

Newark, N.J., Brotherhood Health Initiative Seeks to Engage Troubled Young Minority Males in Health Care System

Dates of Project: December 2003 to November 2005

Field of Work: Meeting health and health care needs in Newark, N.J.

Synopsis of the Work: The Brotherhood Health Initiative focused on getting minority males aged 12 to 25 who had behavioral problems and lived in Newark, N.J. more engaged with the health care system. Project staff provided intensive case management, peer group support, and advocacy to 285 young males.

Story Told: At age 11, JJ was referred to the Brotherhood Health Initiative because of disruptive behavior in school, including stealing, and manipulative behavior at home. His mother, a single parent, was on public assistance and unemployed, in part because her son's behavior kept calling her out of work. "It's like I'm living with a criminal," she told the case manager.

This sidebar tells how project staff helped JJ begin to take responsibility for his life, be less disruptive at school, and earn money for the things he wanted through household chores and odd jobs for neighbors.