AYC's Youth and Family Services (YFS) Department makes a positive, powerful impact in the lives of at-risk and high-risk probation youth and their families. AYC believes that every individual has strengths. AYC believes that all youth should be defined by their best achievements in life and not by their worst mistakes. AYC believes that all youth have the capacity to learn and grow and become contributing members of society regardless of past behavior, environment, and choices – they just need opportunities and a little help along the way.
AYC takes a strength-based approach to our work. We partner with each youth and parent to empower, educate, and support the youth and families to overcome the various barriers, disadvantages, and injustices they experience.
The Youth and Family Services Department includes social service programs provided out in the community at school sites, community partners sites (such as churches or YMCA’s) and in clients' homes. These services are provided through-out the first, second, and fifth supervisorial districts of Los Angeles County including the Antelope Valley, Eastern San Fernando Valley, East Los Angeles, Huntington Park, San Gabriel Valley and Pomona areas. These services are for at-risk, probation, and adjudicated (re-entry from incarceration) youth referred from the Los Angeles County Probation Department.
Last year, AYC served 1,196 unduplicated youth and parents in this department.
High Risk/High Needs Home Based Program & Gender Specific Home Based Program The goals of AYC’s High Risk/High Needs Home Based Program are to decrease criminal and delinquency behavior and to promote school success for high-risk probation youth. Designed for probation youth and their parents, the program’s Case Workers visit each family in their homes to provide support and guidance in empowering the youth to successfully complete the terms of his or her probation. During these weekly visits, Case Workers engage the minors in curriculum based discussions regarding Decision Making, Choices and Consequences, Anger Management, Substance Abuse Prevention, and Recognizing Thinking Errors as Minimizing, Self-Centeredness, and False Blaming. The parents are engaged in informational discussions that focus on developing effective Communication, Discipline, and Household Structuring skills. Successful delivery of these services will effectively strengthen the family unit, promote responsible youth behavior, and decrease recidivism. Female youth are assigned to female Case Workers who are able to provide additional Gender Specific mentoring and support that meet the unique developmental needs of female youth.
Gender Specific Services in the Community Better Outcomes with New Connections & Enrichment for Girls (BOWNCE)
The goal of AYC’s BOWNCE program is to promote healthy female adolescent development by instilling positive self-image, decision making, and interpersonal skills for female youth identified as at-risk of juvenile delinquency. Program participants engage in weekly group discussions and activities addressing topics such as Self-Esteem, Healthy Relationships, Physical Development, Conflict Resolution, College/Career Planning, and Decision Making. In addition to the activity/discussion sessions, participants also attend field trips focusing on themes of education, cultural awareness, and mother-daughter relationship building. Successful delivery of these services will effectively strengthen the family unit, promote responsible youth behavior, and decrease recidivism.
Gang Intervention Program (GIP)
The goals of AYC’s Gang Intervention Program are to promote healthy adolescent development and decrease delinquency, criminal behavior, and gang involvement. Designed for at-risk, gang associated youth and their parents, program participants engage in weekly discussion groups that focus on developing healthy cognitive-behavioral skills. Topics addressed during the sessions include Decision Making, Choices and Consequences, Anger Management, Substance Abuse Prevention, and Recognizing Thinking Errors as Minimizing, Self-Centeredness, and False Blaming. The parent component of the program focuses on empowering parents with effective Communication, Discipline, and Household Structuring skills. Successful delivery of these services will effectively strengthen the family unit, promote responsible youth behavior, and decrease recidivism.
Youth on the Rise
The Youth on the Rise Program provides at-risk and probation youth ages 14-18 with one or more of the following services:
Risk & Needs Assessment
Case Planning & Management
Anger Management Skills Training
Life Skills Development Training
GED/High School Equivalency Test Preparation
Academic Tutoring & Homework Assistance
Educational Pathways Exploration
Social Emotional Skills Development
This program was designed to meet the specific needs of each youth who enrolls by first assessing his or her needs, and then creating a plan for services to meet those needs. For example, if a youth has anger management issues that are preventing him or her from succeeding in school or in employment, the Case Worker will schedule Anger Management Skills Training first to address that need.