Founder Eileen Lyons
Eileen Lyons, MSW, LCSW
Eileen Lyons, PROJECT co-founder and Executive Director, is a licensed social worker with a background in group work practice and youth development. For the past decade, Lyons has consulted with youth agencies across the city providing executive coaching, fund-raising, program development, supervision, and clinical-practice services. At Fresh Youth Initiatives in Washington Heights, for example, Lyons co-founded “The Welcome Program,” an after-school program for children who are newly-arrived immigrants, and more recently at Jewish Family Services of Greenwich in Connecticut, she helped to develop an online bereavement program.
Prior to her consulting work and for seventeen years, Lyons served as Executive Director of Interfaith Neighbors in New York City, where she launched programs, evaluation, and research in reading and literacy, bereavement, and single-gender programming for early adolescent boys and girls.
Lyons, THE PROJECT’s team conference expert, was introduced to the idea of team conferencing in grad school when she participated in grand rounds at a mental health clinic. “We learned to think about patients in a structured and disciplined way,” she recalls. “It improved our practice, and I loved it.” Lyons found that paradigm so compelling that she adapted and fine-tuned it in her foster-care practice and then for nearly two decades at Interfaith Neighbors where team conferences were conducted on a weekly basis. Later, as a consultant, Lyons introduced team conferencing to public schools, prevention programs, and alternative education programs, such as pre-GED programs.
In 2013, with a $10,000 grant from the Edmund A. Stanley, Jr. Foundation, Lyons and PROJECT co-founder Dominique Moyse Steinberg examined the implementation of team conferencing at a New York City OST program. Their findings inspired them to found THE PROJECT. “Using a team conference format in out-of-school time programs has its challenges and rewards,” Lyons notes. “Youth practitioners are hard-pressed to find the time — and sometimes the actual space — in which to meet, but once we start, staff feel empowered by the group discussions, insights, and problem-solving. As the team comes to truly know children, they achieve a whole new level of excellence in practice.”
THE PROJECT, she adds, “is all about the power of the group to effect growth and change in individuals, groups, and communities. We’re eager to underscore this message –via our services — to the out-of-school-time community.”
To learn more about THE PROJECT or to discuss team conferencing or social group work training; contact Eileen Lyons at email@example.com.