Our Practice Model
Our kids have faced every challenge imaginable — physical abuse, sexual abuse, violence. Parents who can’t care for them because of their own addiction or mental health issues. Parents who won’t care for them because they don’t approve of them — from the young woman who’s pregnant to the young man who has finally acknowledged who he was born to be. Kids who have been shuffled through 20 or 30 foster homes until the system finally spits them out at age 18 without a high school diploma, a job, or a place to live. And teenagers who have been held captive by pimps who threatened to kill them unless they sold their bodies on the street, over and over again, night after night.
Our kids have faced many different challenges, but they all crave one thing — family. And that is the heart of our work. Our mission statement calls us to serve our youth with unconditional love and absolute respect. Unconditional love — the love of a parent for a child, a brother for a sister. And absolute respect — respect for what our kids have been through, who they are, and for the potential that they all have if we expect it of them. That’s what we do. For all too many of our kids, we are the first real family they ever know. Just like family, we love our kids without condition and hold them to high expectations. And our kids not only survive, they thrive.
One of the founders of Covenant House Pennsylvania is Dr. Kenneth Ginsburg, MD, MSEd. Dr. Ginsburg, one of the nation’s leading experts in adolescent medicine, practices at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, teaches at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, and is the Director of Health Services at Covenant House Pennsylvania. Working in collaboration with our program staff, Dr. Ginsburg leads our practice with our youth. Our practice is trauma-informed and employs a positive youth development model focused on building the 7 Cs, the foundation of resilience. With these seven characteristics — competence; confidence; connection; character; contribution; coping; and control — our youth can not only overcome their challenges, they can transform their lives from despair, fear, and victimization to hope, opportunity, and inspiration.