Each birthday gives us new reasons to celebrate, new journeys to begin…
History of Youth Services
Six years before Youth Services was founded in 1972, citizen groups in Windham County were already discussing their concerns surrounding the growing problems of area youth. A number of initiatives were undertaken to improve the relationship between young people and law enforcement; however, youth-related problems continued to grow. Following a number of efforts toward intervention, the Youth Services Commission (now Youth Services, Inc.) was incorporated as a nonprofit organization, dependent in part on local fundraising.
Everyone benefits when children reach their potential. At Youth Services we provide stepping stones for local youth as they grow and catch those who stumble. We assist families to help their young men and women choose healthy behaviors while discovering their own path to adulthood.
This is the premise upon which Youth Services began in our community nearly 40 years ago. This is the premise that lies behind its eight comprehensive programs serving 1,628 children, teens, and families last year.
- Youth Services Commission incorporated.
- Big Brothers Big Sisters, the nation’s premiere mentoring program, joins the agency.
- Family and youth counseling services added to the agency with an emphasis on prevention.
- Court Diversion Program formally established under Vermont’s Attorney General.
- Youth Services joins the Vermont Coalition of Runaway Youth Programs.
- With expansion of programs, Youth Services relocates to a larger office at 32 Walnut Street.
- Counselors visit families in crisis to provide guidance where children risk foster placement.
- Created a ninth Diversion Board to serve offenders in the Wilmington and Dover areas.
- Brattleboro Area Prevention Coalition formed to help prevent substance abuse among teens.
- Student Assistance Professionals stress prevention work in area high and middle schools.
- Provided mediation to families and youth in crisis, and outreach to teens experiencing difficulties.
- Satellite office opened at Parks Place Community Center in Bellows Falls.
- Big Brothers Big Sisters expands to Deerfield and West River Valleys, Bellows Falls.
- H.E.Y.! Help Empower Youth promotes teen assets development and adult attitude shift.
- Bellows Falls families with at-risk teens “wrapped” in services through weekly home visits.
- Summer employment project piloted for six-weeks in Bellows Falls with agricultural focus.
- Conducted The Listening Project: Giving Voice to Adolescent Youth Living in Difficult Circumstances.
- Approach shifts to therapeutic case management
2011Pregnant and parenting teens matched with mentors
Career development mentoring lends extra support to high school students through RAMP
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Tommy was an adjudicated youth that met with the Reparative Panel and worked with Youth Services’ Street Checker. He was adamant that he did not commit burglary, but was with other youths that did. This past winter he happened to find a wallet at the town ski slope. He contacted the person who lost it and returned it intact.
Unbeknownst to Tommy at the time, the owner was another employee of Youth Services, or else we might not know of this success. Tommy’s parents felt that their son had gained a lot from the program.