Saint Gabriel's System

A Better Way: Conflict Management

An Overview:

A Better Way is an anger and conflict management program that utilizes cooperative and group learning principles to teach anger and conflict management strategies to female and male youth 12–18 years of age. Youth are referred by probation officers, Family Court, social service providers, teachers, and parents. Youth are assigned to small groups divided by age ranging from 12-14 and 15-18 years old. The typical training program is designed as eight, 1.5 hour sessions delivered on a weekly basis and leading to a certificate of competency in effective anger and conflict management. The training is conducted during school and/or after-school hours at sites throughout the city and delivered by instructors trained in effective anger and conflict management.


The A Better Way Program started in July of 1999. The original concept was designed to serve 120 students per year, teaching youth conflict management strategies after school hours. The A Better Way Program initially only served youth who had been arrested for minor charges and who had assigned probation officers. Typically, there were eight 1.5 hour long sessions held at various community sites, providing youth with anger and conflict management life skills. Today, the Program serves approximately 850 students yearly and the programming has been extended to offer its services to non-probationary youth and community schools.

Program Requirements:

• Youth do not have to be involved in the Juvenile Justice System • Referrals can be made by probation officers, Family Court, social service providers, teachers, parents or administrators of programs who also serve this population • Female and male youth 12-18 years old

A Better Way: Conflict Management

227 N. 18th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103

Program Highlights:

• Trust building exercises, role-playing and group discussions, allow participants to develop skills to help implement positive ways of dealing with conflict.
• The program will challenge the concept of conflict as a vehicle for anger and present it as a resource for change
• Participants will understand the causes of conflict and gain fundamental skills to effectively manage the anger/aggression that may occur because of it, thereby becoming less likely to resort to violence as a solution to conflicts.
• Participants will gain effective techniques to promote critical thinking and sound decision-making skills.
• Participants will avoid potentially anti-social situations and associate with more pro-social peer groups.
• The program can be customized to meet the needs of a specific organization

Successful Outcomes


Lamar's new life.

Lamar J. came to De La Salle Vocational on September 30, 2008 following his discharge from Saint Gabriel’s Hall. At that time, he, too, was committed to the Saint Francis program, residing in one of their off-campus group homes. Lamar made steady and consistent progress at De La Salle,... Read More