Community Based Programs

Freedom Schools

CYDC is a partner of The Children’s Defense Fund and offers a summer Freedom Schools program to provide enrichment through a model curriculum that supports children and families around five essential components: 

  • High-quality academic enrichment; 
  • Parent and family involvement;  
  • Civic engagement and social action;  
  • Intergenerational leadership development; and 
  • Nutrition, health and mental health. 

The Freedom Schools program boosts student motivation to read, generates more positive attitudes toward learning, and connects the needs of children and families to the resources of their communities.

Freedom Schools is open to students in the Lowcountry area. For eligibility requirements see below.


  • Youth ages 6-13.
  • Residence in Charleston County.

For more information contact Jennifer Sanders at (843) 266 -5244.

Teen After-School Center

Creating a safe, supportive after-school environment where youth can receive assistance with homework, enjoy a healthy snack and play with friends, improves child development and well-being.

CYDC partners with the South Carolina Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ) to host a community Teen After-School Centers (TASCs). This nationally recognized program is specifically designed to improve youth  social/emotional/behavioral health while preventing involvement in the juvenile justice system or likelihood of incarceration. In the program youth are served with structured time, activities, and supervision between the end of the school day and when parents return from work.


  • Youth ages 12 – 17.
  • Residence in Charleston or Berkeley County.

For more information contact Jennifer Sanders at (843) 266 – 5244.

Strengthening Families

The Strengthening Families Program (SFP) serves families with children ages 6 to 11 and is designed to help families develop positive discipline practices, stay resilient in tough times, reduce conflict, improve parenting skills, and assist children with social skills, relationships, and school performance. All of these factors play an important role in keeping families strong while protecting against potential abuse or neglect and adverse childhood experiences.

Participants complete a 14-session program over the course of several months. The sessions, which always begin with a family meal, typically last 2½ hours and include parents and children meeting separately to work with group leaders before coming together for shared activities to finish. Participants who successfully complete the 14-session program are recognized in a graduation celebration. 


  • Any family with at least one child between the ages of 6 – 11. 
  • At least one adult caregiver must be willing to participate in all 14 sessions.

For more information contact Jennifer Sanders at (843) 266-5244.

Community-Based Prevention Services

CYDC is a member of the Empowering Families Network which provides timely, integrated and culturally competent case management services to families who have assessed as having sufficient risk factors that could potentially result in harm to the children if left unaddressed. 

The program aims to eliminate or significantly reduce identified risk factors for child abuse and neglect, and to enhance protective factors in families that result in the development of a plan to keep families together. An additional goal is to improve community networks that strengthen support systems for families in need.


For more information contact Jennifer Sanders at (843) 266-5244. 

Family Support Center

CYDC’s Family Support Center, located in the George Williams building on CYDC’s North Charleston campus, is focused on providing Lowcountry families with the support and services they need to remain intact and thrive. Services include

  • Community-Based Prevention Services delivered in-home to increase a family’s ability to parent and handle everyday stressors, help build a support system for the family and build a parent’s confidence to care for and raise their children.
  • Family Therapy as a way to address trauma as a family or open lines of communication in ways that benefit the family as a unit. 
  • Individual Therapy to address individual trauma, well-being and mental health.
  • Strengthening Families Program, an evidenced-based family skills training program designed to help families develop positive discipline practices, stay resilient in tough times, reduce conflict, improve parenting skills and assist children with social skills, relationship and school performance.


Services are provided by master’s level human services clinicians, therapists and group facilitators.


  • Eligibility is based on the service being provided please contact our office at the below location.

For more information contact Jennifer Sanders at (843) 266-5244.