National Youth Advocate Program, Columbus, OH

Constant and Never Ending Improvement (CANEI)

Abstract: CANEI improves the lives of troubled teens using a holistic approach to treatment with an emphasis on restorative justice.  CANEI provides treatment to youth who are in need of intensive services due to defiant, aggressive or delinquent behavior.    Youth who participate in the program may have concomitant mental health disorders or substance abuse disorders.

CANEI’s theory of change utilizes the three pillars of CANEI:  Restorative Justice, Literacy, and Spirituality.  CANEI incorporates evidence based / best practices such as Positive Youth Development & Resilience theory (Circle of Courage); Strength based approaches, Wrap-around theory (Child Family Team and intensity of service), and a Cognitive Behavioral approach to treatment and service delivery

The mission of CANEI is to productively alter a participant’s cognitive paradigm about violence.  CANEI’s philosophy is rooted in a strong belief that:

  • Youth grow and develop best when in a positive family-like environment.
  • All youth are capable of positive growth and change including the development of compassion and empathy.
  • True behavior change comes from youth internalizing a new understanding of themselves.

Youth appropriate for participation in CANEI will have lived in social and economic environments that have reinforced retaliation and violence as accepted, even required, solutions to problems.  CANEI is committed to providing principles and introducing values that can become self-reinforcing behaviors for non-violence which encourage stability, allow for on-going connections with their caregiver(s) and family, and linkage to community resources and support that sustain continued growth and positive choices. 

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