FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What is a Youth Service Bureau?
Ins the late 60’s the federal government provided money to provide alternative sanctions for punishment of young offenders. The juvenile justice system was broken and the government recognized the need for organizations that could provide preventative services to troubled youth and families to reduce their engagement with the legal system. Under the Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act of 1968 the youth service bureaus were born. Since the 60’s they have evolved into complex nonprofit organizations with offering a variety of preventive programming.
Indiana’s youth service bureaus — while all very unique — work to support four core roles:
- Juvenile Delinquency Prevention – Re-directing vulnerable children and youth toward productive behavior and away from delinquency.
- Information and Referral Services – Maintaining a wide spectrum of resources on need of and services for vulnerable children and families
- Community Education – Programs to help families, volunteers, and leaders understand and develop awareness of causes, needs and remedies related to delinquency
- Youth Advocacy – Being a voice for vulnerable youth both in special individual circumstances and in matters of public policy
How many are served annually?
Anchored firmly in the communities they serve, the combined Youth Service Bureaus of IYSA serve more than 50,000 Hoosier youth and families each year.
Who funds IYSA and the Youth Service Bureaus?
While a portion of program funding comes from public sources such as federal and state initiatives, most comes from the private sector. Support for specific on-site programs is generally raised locally and is separate from the resources needed for statewide training programs, accreditation and peer review activities and collaboration with organizations that share a portion of our mission.
What is the program philosophy?
Youth Service Bureaus implement prevention and intervention programs proven by experience, evaluation, and research to be successful and cost effective. They apply their knowledge, talent, and energy to developing programs which will continue to improve the ways we, as caring communities, guide and direct our children.
To these ends all Youth Service Bureaus and our statewide association are committed to:
- Preventing juvenile delinquency by ensuring that every community in Indiana has effective and adequate programs and systems in these areas
- Improving the quality and capacity of programs for delinquency prevention, program development, effective and appropriate information and education resources
- Strengthening effective advocacy by educating community leaders, policy-makers, educators, juvenile justice professionals, and caring communities on the issues, benefits, dangers, and best practices.
- Increasing investment of individuals and organizations in the people and programs that tie delinquency prevention, effective action and strong advocacy together for stronger, safer, better communities.
What are the types of programs being offered by the youth service bureaus?
- Delinquency prevention
- Youth Leadership Training
- Individual and Family Counseling
- Crisis Shelters and Project Safe Place (short term refuge for runaway and homeless youth)
- Alternative Schools
- Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA)
- Teen Court
- Residential Care
- Participation in local coalitions
- Parenting Education
- Teen Mother Support Groups
- Prevention of Child Neglect and Abuse
- Prevention Hotlines (phone and text)
- Best practice research and monitoring
- Training for staff and volunteers
- Fund development and utilization
- Research on and development for underserved communities and unmet needs
- Leadership Development for community action, administration, advocacy, support initiatives, and volunteerism