Teen Discovery seeks to empower adolescents and youth ages 10 – 18, through the Allegheny County Department of Human Services youth and family engagement  model.
Click here for more information on the Teen Discovery program.


Goals & Objectives

Teen Discovery fosters social and educational success in teens and adolescents. Many institutions with high populations of at-risk teens and young adults are ill-equipped to deal with issues like poverty, well-being, discrimination, poor education and negative peer culture, which may extrinsically have a negative effect on their behavior. Social accountability and alternative methods, such as positive intervention and preventive supports, can greatly increase the percentages of teens and young adults fulfilling their life goals. 

Teens are in transition and it is crucial they gain the knowledge needed to change attitudes with regard to the following: 

  • Educational Achievement and Attainment
  • Work and Self-Sufficiency
  • Family Formation
  • Civic Engagement
  • Health and Safety 
  • Risky Behaviors 
  • Improved Social and Emotional Development


Program Eligibility

  • Adolescents and youth between the ages of 10 and 18
  • Adolescents and youth that reside in Allegheny County
  • Adolescents and youth looking for support in changing their character, academic achievement, lifestyle, behavior, and/or attitude.
Throughout the time that Small Seeds worked with me and my family it has been extremely helpful. The staff provided guidance when I needed it and made sure I received the necessary information and support to help assist me and my children. The services provided me has helped to reduce my stress and increase my confidence. 
- Mother of a Teen Participant

Program Components

  • Referral Sources
    Youth, Parent, Family, Care-Givers, Youth Groups, Community Groups, Faith-Based Institutions, Magistrate Court, Children Youth and Families (CYF), Juvenile Justice System, Youth Athletic
  • Parent & Teen Support/Parent Development Training
    Provides Teen Parent Training in the home, school or community with a certificate of completion.
  • Parent and Child Conflict Mediation and Resolution  
    Focuses on the teen parent and paret(s) of the teen who are having conflicting issues in the home. 
  • Teens with Younger Siblings
    Provides sibling support care training to older youth who have assumed co-parenting responsibilities for younger sibling(s) in the home as assigned by the parent, i.e., babysitting or transporting to or from school or community programs.
  • Teen Character & Social Development
    Before, During & After School Workshops that provide a certificate of completion for their participation in a 10 to 12 week module of instruction support the educational and social dynamics of at-risk teens.
  • Youth Responsibility Act
    Improve cooperation and behavior; reduce parental stress, hostility and depression. Increase cooperation, responsibility and self-esteem; reduce power struggles. Increase family resiliency and community connections. Improved discipline and anger management skills.
  • ACT Raising Safe Kids Program

The ACT Raising Safe Kids Program was developed and is coordinated by the American Psychological Association’s Violence Prevention Office. The program is based on research showing that individual and parenting education and stand alone curricula, teens and parents will be able to:

  1. It is in the early years that children learn the basic foundations for life. 
  2. Parents and caregivers can be the best teachers and positive role models OR the perpetrators of violence, abuse and neglect against their own children. 
  3. Exposure to abuse and neglect early in life can have serious long-term emotional, cognitive and behavioral consequences for children and youth.

Social Skill Domains


Communication: The act or process of imparting or interchanging thoughts, opinions, or information by speech, writing or signs. Key terms: conversation, interchange, talk, information transmittal, nonverbal communication, basic pragmatics 

Cooperation: The act or instance of working or acting together for a common purpose; more or less active assistance from a person; willingness to help or work together. Key terms: joint action, collaboration, synergy, partnership, teamwork, coalition, participation, mutual assistance 

Assertion: A positive statement or declaration, often without support or reason; an act of sticking up for oneself or for what is right. Key terms: claim, bold declaration, affirmation, clear and firm statement. 

Responsibility: The ability to make moral or rational decisions on one’s own, and to be answerable for one’s behavior; the quality or state of being trustworthy or dependable. Keywords: trustworthiness, reliability, doing one’s duty, dependability, accountability, liability

Empathy: Identification with or understanding of another’s situation, feelings, thoughts, attitudes, or motives; the ability to imagine how another person is feeling and to understand his or her mood. Key terms: sympathy, compassion, commiseration, understanding, kindness, warm-heartedness, benevolence, philanthropy 

Engagement: The act of involving someone in an activity; involving oneself or becoming occupied; the act of sharing in the activities of a group. Key terms: participation, involvement, connecting, interest 

Self-control: Control or restraint of oneself or one’s actions or feelings; the ability to control one’s emotions and remain calm even when feeling angry, afraid, excited or upset. Key terms: poise, self-restraint, reserve, self-regulation, level-headedness.