ABC15 News Special Report: Raising Teens – An Interview with JWBC

Click here to watch the accompanying video.

The teenage years are a time of dramatic changes in the way kids think and act.

Experts say brain development can lead to behavioral and psychological changes, and as parents, you might find yourselves butting heads more often than not.

Studies show family relationships are a key source of influence for teenagers.

ABC 15 is working for you to help strengthen those relationships and ease the frustrations of raising a teen.

“Disrespectful behaviors, acting out behaviors, and a lot of it is verbal aggression,” said Kim Parsons, JusticeWorks Behavioral Care.

If you recognize any of these behaviors, you might have a teenager.

Becky Cain has two teenagers. She said being a parent to her children can be testing at times.

“I had some pulling-out-my-hair moments,” said Cain.

The journey through adolescence can be tough for teens and parents.

“Raising 15-year-old girls can get a little mind blowing,” said Tammy Johnson, parent of teenagers.

“It’s an exciting stage, but it’s challenging at times,” said Cain.

To find out what can make that challenge easier, ABC15 went to the experts at JusticeWorks Behavioral Care, an organization that helps kids and families deal with problems and negative behaviors.

“The biggest thing I really see is a disconnect between the parents and the children,” said Thomas Muse, JusticeWorks Behavioral Care.

They have five major tips to make raising teens less stressful.

Step one is to sit down or eat dinner together and talk.

“Ask, ‘How was your day? What’s going on? How is your life going?” said Parsons. “Everybody gets so caught up in their own lives, sometimes it takes away from the simple things we forget that are really important.”

Tip two is be aware. Know who your child’s friends are and where they hang out.

“A lot of people think, ‘It’s not my child, that is never going to happen to my child,’ and the blinders are on,” said Parsons.

Suggestion three is, when trying to warn your teen about the dangers of smoking, for example, your cancer argument might not bear any weight.

Instead, stay in the moment.

Parsons said teens tend to only care about the short term.

“If you just focus in on, ‘Well, maybe your teeth will turn yellow,’ or, ‘You’ll have bad breath,’ or something like that,” said Parsons.

Their next piece of advice is to make sure your teen knows it’s okay to talk to you about anything, and stay calm if they do.

“When you have that relationship and the kids come to you and say, ‘Hey, I tried drugs,’ or ‘I slept with my boyfriend,’ you don’t overreact. You don’t hammer them,” said Muse. “You say, ‘How did it feel? What was it like? Did anyone pressure you? Thank you so much for coming to me.’

Then later you can freak out and go to your husband or wife and say, ‘Oh my gosh, you won’t believe what our son or daughter said.’ But, in that moment, you need to support them.”

The next tip is to praise them.

“That’s one easy way of giving kids that support that’s so vital is just telling them, ‘I’m proud of you,” said Parsons.

Experts say it’s never too late to build your relationship.

“It could be something as simple as playing basketball or going camping,” said Muse.

If and when punishment is necessary, experts say be consistent and follow through with the consequences.

There’s no perfect formula and it’s not easy. It takes time, effort and patience to raise a child. But, over time, parents discover what methods work for best during those emotional teenage years.

“Discipline in sports has been key to keep them out of trouble and keep them busy,” said Johnson.

“Just give them some guidance along the way and, if they do stumble and fall, be there to pick them up too,” said Cain.

And, cherish those moments. After all, the years between “goo-goo-ga-ga” and graduation go by so fast.

“You just go one day at a time, raising them,” said Cain. “I can’t believe they’re 15 and 19 already, but so far I think I’ve done an okay job, hopefully.”

A 2016 study by Arizona State University found that mothers of middle school students experienced the most stress.


JusticeWorks Behavioral Care Awarded License to Provide Therapeutic Foster Care


Therapeutic Foster Care Family


JusticeWorks Behavioral Care was recently awarded a Child Placing Agency license by the Department of Social Services.  Many thanks to Executive Director, Tomeika Martin, and TFC Program Director Nikita Davis for their hard work making this service a reality.  We are pleased to offer therapeutic foster care giving some of South Carolina’s most vulnerable children a place of safety and well-being which ultimately leads to permanency.

Our Therapeutic Foster Care program is an enhanced level of service provided in a home setting.  Children receiving Therapeutic Foster Care services have been identified as having moderate to severe mental health issues and require consistency, structure, and stability to help them excel in the home, school, and community environments.

Therapeutic Foster Care services are provided by highly trained foster parents with the support of JusticeWorks’ clinical staff.  We assist foster parents in having a long-term strategy for the betterment of the child, or children, and provide them with skills to deal with daily challenges.  JWBC supports our TFC parents through training, 24/7 phone or on-site consultation, respite relief when necessary and monthly support groups.

We are excited about the opportunity to offer this service throughout South Carolina.  We have begun recruiting foster families in the Columbia and Florence areas.  Like all of our other programs our goal is to be the premier provider and to achieve positive outcomes.

Click here to learn more about Therapeutic Foster Care.

A Heartfelt Thank You

(An expression of gratitude from one of our own, Tasha Williams, JusticeWorks Behavioral Care, SC).

On February 18, 2016, my family and I had the unfortunate experience of tragedy like none other. Since then, I have learned a number of things. One is that for every hurt and every tear, there will be a hug, a call, an expression of love in some manner. I have long been taught that God will provide for and comfort us, even in our weakest times. The past few weeks has allowed me to experience this in a mighty way.

A Mother’s Letter to JusticeWorks BehavioralCare: Kudos to Amanda Harmon and Kacee Cleveland

(A letter written from a parent to Amanda Harmon, State-wide trainer for JusticeWorks BehavioralCare, regarding her daughter’s successful transformation with assistance from Kacee Cleveland, Behavioral Interventionist).

Jane’s BI is absolutely wonderful! She has the perfect background. She has a great understanding of Jane’s problems, where they stem from and how to change the behaviors. She is a great teacher. I finally understand Jane and have so many more tools to work with. Kacee is reliable and trustworthy. We really thank God for her. She is a true answer to prayer.

Tragedy Strikes Staff Member

Tragedy Strikes Staff MemberWe were all grief stricken to learn of the hideous murder of Darnell Williams, husband of our Beaufort SC staff member Tasha Williams.

Mr. Williams was the victim of an apparent random murder as he prepared to board the boat (at the embarkation) to get to Daufuskie Island where he works.

Mr. Williams was known and respected as a fine, hardworking man devoted to his family and church. Tasha has been a valued member of our South Carolina team for several years.

This unspeakable crime has left Tasha widowed, their 5 children fatherless and their grandchildren will never know their wonderful grandfather.

To assist the family in this terrible time we are accepting donations on their behalf and all will be appreciated and sent directly to them.

You may send your offerings to:

JusticeWorks BehavioralCare
4 Carriage Ln
Suite 405
Charleston, SC 29407

Please keep the Williams family in your prayers.

JusticeWorks Behavioral Care voted 2014 Provider of the year!

JusticeWorks BehavioralCare selected to provide Targeted Case Management!

We are happy to announce JusticeWorks BehavioralCare was selected to provide Targeted Case Management services to the children and families in South Carolina!!! JusticeWorks BehavioralCare will assist eligible individuals with assistance in gaining access to needed medical, social, educational and other services.

Gratitude from a Conway family

(Letter written by a family member.)

Dear Miss Martin,

I would like this email letter to show my appreciation for an excellent job performance Vanessa Grant did. Our family will never forget the motivation, inspiration and encouragement she gave to James at each visit. She is helping James reach his potential and we are grateful for this.

Vanessa has so many dedicated qualities. She should be given a special award for her enthusiasm and love of her job.

I want justice works to know how impressed I am with her professional manner. She did an exceptional job and she should be complimented on this.

Her positive impact always shows on each visit. This is a rare thing to observe. Her hard work, commitment and dedication I would like to bring to your attention. As a result of her efforts James continued to improve. She has made a difference in all our lives.

Justice Works should be proud of your employee. She is an asset to your company.
Please put in her file everyone needs a Vanessa in their life and if so they will be blessed every day.

James’s grandmother

Thank you Shelly for the heartfelt letter of appreciation. We wish all the best for James and the rest of your family.

We thank Vanessa for her “Whatever it takes” spirit to support the families she serves.

JusticeWorks is chosen to join FamilyCorps Affiliate Network!

JusticeWorks is pleased to announce that we have become a member of FamilyCorps affiliate network. As a member of the affiliate networks, JusticeWorks will be facilitating the evidence-based Parents Anonymous® program model.

JusticeWorks will provide Parents Anonymous® Peer Support Groups in Sumter, Clarendon, Darlington, Florence, Williamsburg and Horry counties.

Stay tuned for details on time and location for these new Parents Anonymous® Peer Support Groups to meet!

JusticeWorks BehavioralCare Achieves Highest Standard!

On September 16th, 2013, JusticeWorks BehavioralCare received confirmation that it has met all standards for accreditation by the Council on Accreditation (COA).  The accreditation is valid for 4 years.  COA, based in New York City, is an international accreditation body which focuses on child and family services and behavioral healthcare organizations.

Governor Haley Invites JusticeWorks to Aid in Community Outreach Effort!

South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley started a community outreach foundation called The Original Six Foundation. The Foundation is dedicated to assist South Carolina Counties with high unemployment rates.

Richard Christian, Former JWBC Executive Director, South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley; Mrs. Paula Christian, Community Outreach

The Original Six Foundation has organized a major statewide initiative that will help provide the tools and resources needed for distressed South Carolina communities to grow economically.

On June 2, 2012 The Foundation and its partners organized an event in Marion County to help uplift the community up with a health and job fair, GED programs, literacy programs, and other important resources.

JusticeWorks BehavioralCare was invited to represent the beneficial impact of helping families improve their well-being and care of their children.

Governor Haley was in attendance and spent time with JusticeWorks’ Executive Director Richard Christian and his wife Paula (on her birthday!). More than 600 local citizens attended the all-day event.

The Governor was most gracious in acknowledging the importance of our helping families becoming healthier and more self-reliant. We are proud to work with her on behalf of South Carolina citizens grappling with profound behavioral health, and related, concerns.

Fast Facts

We are pleased to offer the following services:

  • Diagnostic Assessments
  • Service Plan Development (Interdisciplinary Team)
  • Individual Therapy
  • Family Therapy
  • Group Therapy
  • Crisis Management
  • Behavior Modification
  • Rehabilitation Psychosocial Service
  • Family Support