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Lasallian mission: A recipe for success

In the 1600s, a roman catholic priest named John Baptist de La Salle interpreted a reading from the Gospel of John in which he compares those who have charge of souls to a good shepherd who has great care for his sheep. De La Salle Altarunderstood that all children have individual needs and encouraged his brothers to take care in their approach to each one showing more mildness toward some, more firmness toward others, to heed the call for much patience, and punish to improve faults but never harshly.

The language used to instruct teachers and social work professionals on the best ways of caring for troubled child has benefited from the passage of time. Technological advancements in communicating the structure and function of complex ideas has led to information being available to audiences ranging from parents searching for help for their children to legislators working to raise the awareness in their districts of youth with special needs.

In 2005, a report entitled Helping Traumatized Children Learn: A Report and Policy Agenda stated “in a democratic society, no group of children should be disregarded or dismissed simply because they have faced overwhelming stress or even terror in their lives and need help reengaging in the world around them.” In a 2010 circular entitled Associated for the IMG_8106ALasallian Mission . . . an act of HOPE, the institute’s 27th superior general, Brother Alvaro Echeverria FSC, wrote “Lasallians regard education as a process of integral human formation. Lasallians recognize human dignity in the face of everyone they meet. In keeping with tradition, Lasallians devote themselves especially to the education of young people who are in difficult and challenging circumstances.”

In the midst of this flurry of activity, staff prepared for a review by the District of Eastern North America (DENA), the administrative arm of the Christian Brothers to assess the degree to which LaSalle Albany’s operating was aligned with Lasallian principles. Over five months, agency staff met to identify strengths, weaknesses, and goals to write their Lasallian Mission Assessment Plan (LMAP). In early April, staff from DENA, Ocean Tides, and St. Gabriel’s came to Albany to assess our practices and plan for ensuring its viability in the future. After three days of intensive review the LMAP team reported their findings to senior management staff indicating Lasallian proficiency in all areas of the agency with strong goals intended to ensure LaSalle’s objectives would continue to be guided by Lasallian mission and virtues.

LaSalle School is a leader in programs and services for youth and families in crisis offering a variety of programs designed to meet their needs including specialized residential placement, day service education, and alternative to detention services. The Counseling Center at LaSalle is an OMH and OASAS licensed outpatient behavioral health clinic located at LaSalle School, and currently implementing ACE treatment practices with youth and families. LaSalle is accredited by the Council on Accreditation (COA), and affiliated with the Council of Family and Child Caring Agencies (COFCCA), and the national Alliance for Strong Families and Communities. LaSalle is a member of The New York State Coalition of 853 Schools.


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