May 5th is Thank a Youth Worker Day 2022. This worldwide movement is designated to bring awareness and gratitude to the largest group of human service professionals. Youth workers are essential to all communities. Join us in saying ‘Thanks’ to youth workers in your community and around the world.
The Youth Work field is comprised of many roles. According to the National Collaboration for Youth, a youth worker is an individual who works with or on behalf of youth to facilitate their personal, social, and educational development and enable them to gain a voice, influence, and place in society as they make the transition from dependence to independence. We are coaches, mentors, house parents, teachers, and counselors; you might find us in community centers, after-school programs, churches, mental health centers and more. Youth workers build the future!
I have been a Home-Based Caseworker with The Youth Service Bureau for 7 years. I have recently taken the position of the new Home-Based Program Director. I am beyond excited to take on this new role and continue to build this program in our communities.
I graduated with my Bachelor’s of Social Work from Olivet Nazarene University in 2013. After graduation, I enjoyed working with children at an Autism Clinic, but I desired to work with children and families within the DCS system.
In 2015, I entered into the casework position at YSB where I quickly learned how passionate and caring the YSB agency and workers were for our clients. I enjoy working with all clients from the little children, to teens, to the parents. This program allows us to help our clients take steps to better their situations and for them to realize and achieve their greatest potential.
As Program Director, I am excited to be able to continue working with clients and also to continue building a passionate home-based team so that we may be able to have an even greater impact in our communities.
Home-Based Family Services are intervention services that work with families involved with DCS or probation. A wide variety of services from Parent-Aid, Casework, Therapy, Supervised Visits, and Family Preservation help preserve intact families and support families as they seek reunification. Strength-based and trauma-informed services help build family resiliency to assist our clients in reaching their greatest potential.
Children in the Middle is a program designed to minimize the impact on children when parents divorce. As children often suffer needlessly when parents’ divorce, this program can assist parents in the adjustments children must make during a divorce. Some of those adjustments may include changes in family finances, changes in family structure, addressing feelings of guilt and anger, and feeling like they are caught in the middle.
Did You Know?
· 36.6% of all marriages in the US end in divorce.
Roughly one in two children will see their parent’s marriage breakup.
There is a 16% increase in the risk of behavior problems if the child is between 7 and 14 years old when their parents’ divorce.
Children of divorced or separated parents are 1.5 to 2 times more likely to live in poverty and engage in risky sexual behavior as they get older.
Estimates suggest children from divorced parents have an 8% lower probability of completing high school, a 12% lower probability of college attendance, and an 11% lower probability of college completion.
Roughly 50% of all American children experience the break-up of their parent’s marriage. Unfortunately, about half of these children will then see the end of their parent(s) next marriage. About one in ten children with divorced parents will experience the end of three or more of their parental marriages.
While divorce is often very difficult for children and can lead to several undesirable outcomes as evidenced by the statistics above, these outcomes are not inevitable. Through education and support, we can work to make the situation better for everyone involved.
We would like to say thanks to the Community Foundation of Randolph County for your generous contribution of $2000.00 for the BASE/Alternative School Program which provides services for youth in Randolph County. The grant was used to purchase sensory items such as Play-Doh, Pop-its, Kinetic Sand, puzzles, and various board games. Students are allowed to play these games during counseling and as a privilege during break times. Youth often benefit from the use of sensory items to promote focus, reduce anxiety, develop fine motor skills/sense of touch, and also encourage language skills. Youth also learn rules/strategies for playing games and also develop strategy/problem-solving skills and collaboration with others as well.
YSB has also utilized grant funds received from CFRC to purchase items of need for 10 youth who actively participate in counseling services and/or have a financial need. Youth were given a pair of shoes, a pair of athletic pants/leggings, and a hygiene set which often included body spray, body wash, and deodorant.
Additionally, a ticket-based incentive system has been implemented this year that rewards positive behavior with food/drink items as well as other non-monetary privileges. Food items/ingredients were purchased with grant funds. Various students are chosen to assist staff and learn some life skills in cooking/cleaning/food preparation. Grant funds allowed us to purchase an electric griddle and Air Fryer. Burgers were grilled with a Portable Grill that was purchased last year due to ongoing contributions from the CFRC.
There are some additional things that have been able to be purchased and utilized for the BASE/Alternative School. We will be creating another post within the coming months to show those things as well. Thanks so much to the Community Foundation of Randolph County for your continued support! We really appreciate it!
As a resident at the Youth Service Bureau, I would have to say that the abundance of support and opportunities given to me have completely changed the course of my life. Before YSB, I was a terrified, depressed, and freshly graduated kid with no one in my corner to help me make the healthy life-altering decisions that I was being forced to start making for myself. It’s been clear from the beginning that my circumstances would never lead me to any success in meeting my short-term goals, but compared to my peers, I was bound for long-term failure.
YSB changed that for me.
At the Youth Service Bureau, they provide 24/7 assistance to the residents living here. We all meet with the therapist and case manager at least once a week to work on dealing with our trauma and on independent living skills so that we are better prepared for the future. Also, I believe that the entire experience of learning how to coexist with the other kids living at the Residential House is more than a necessary skill that all of us are bound to work on and learn from each day we live here.
Though, I do want to say that the kids who are placed at the Youth Service Bureau are definitely not bad kids. It is my belief that the kids that come through here have been dealt bad cards in the game we know as life. We just need a nudge in a better direction so we can become the strong, independent, and healthy adults we deserve to be.
Honestly, I can’t say I’ve ever had the stability and support of a real home before YSB. Now I have both of those things and more from my YSB family, and I could not be happier.
I believe that, at least for me, the YSB is that nudge.
Every year when our fundraising letter goes out to community members, businesses, service organizations, and other stakeholders the response never fails to amaze me! It is truly a pleasure to live and work in a community where support for those in need is never far away.
Although Christmas is nearly upon us it is not too late to give!
Each year we use part of the donations received to purchase the Christmas presents for the residents in our Residential Program but there are a number of other ways donating to the YSB helps our residents throughout the year. Donations are often used to cover the expense of outings for the residents. In recent years we have taken trips to the Cincinnati Zoo, Indianapolis Zoo, Fort Wayne Zoo, Newport Aquarium, Kentucky Kingdom, Louisville Slugger factory, Wright Patterson Air Force Museum, and have attended multiple shows at the Honeywell Center to name a few. Donations are also used throughout the year to purchase crafts, art supplies, and replacement items for our residents.
Around this time of year, donations are used to purchase most of the items for our holiday baskets which are distributed to all Youth Service Bureau service recipients. Most of the time we have to link clients to the resources they need in the community as our ability to provide concrete assistance is limited. Being able to give our clients a basket full of food and household items they may desperately need is both great for our client and our staff, as it makes them feel good about the work they are doing. Just like Residential, the donations received can assist all programs throughout the year.
You can mail or drop off your donation any time of the year at 603 West Arch St. Portland, IN 47371. Office hours are Monday-Friday 8 am to 4 pm. We are also happy to accept your donation electronically, https://ysbjc.com/donate/.
(B.A.S.E. teachers Joe Younts, Kim Waber, and Chris Dubach)
We are so thankful to have received a grant from the Heart of Indiana United Way’s Economic Relief Initiative Funds for the B.A.S.E program in Randolph County!
The grant received will be used to purchase rewards/incentives for BASE students who demonstrate good behavior, for personal hygiene items, sensory items to stimulate the five senses, clothing, shoes, or other needed articles of clothing, as well as food items. This year we have implemented a new behavioral incentive program for BASE students. Each school-day BASE students can earn one ticket every 30 minutes for good behavior. Tickets are given throughout the day for positive behavior and can be removed for negative behaviors. At the end of each day, students can trade in their tickets for the purchase of items or they can choose to save them for bigger items that have a higher ticket value. BASE students and staff met this week to determine specific tangible and intangible rewards along with appropriate ticket values for each.
In October we are planning to start doing some hands-on cooking/food preparation with BASE students to create and eat various food items. This also is a great opportunity to teach students how to make a list of needed food items, compare prices of the food items at the store, learn to safely prepare and serve food items, and properly clean dishes. In addition, teaching youth to make food items themselves will help them have a general knowledge of ways to save money preparing food items themselves versus frequently eating out. We really appreciate your support and faith in our program.
Thanks again for your generous grant contribution so we can better assist Randolph Youth in our BASE Program,
I am a 22-year-old who graduated from IUPUI, May of 2021. I received a Bachelor of General Studies with a concentration in Social and Behavioral Science, as well as a minor in psychology and a minor in sociology. Prior to attending IUPUI, I graduated from Union City Jr./Sr. High School in 2017. My husband and I just returned to the area last year. We will celebrate our first wedding anniversary this Halloween.
This summer, we welcomed our first baby into our family. Before we had our son, Beau, we already had three other babies; two cats and a dog. When I’m not at work, you’ll most likely find me spending time with my family, listening to crime podcasts, cooking, doing some kind of craft, or playing Animal Crossing. Even though we’ve only had about three months with our son, I feel he has taught me a lot of valuable information that I can use in my role as a Family Support Specialist.
As an FSS, I hope to continuously grow and expand my knowledge to be as helpful as possible for each family. I’m excited to be a part of the Youth Service Bureau and find a fulfilling career working with Healthy Families!
I have seen firsthand the positive impact that meaningful, supportive, adult relationships can have on youth. I was able to connect with all of the BASE youth over the summer in person to provide support and talk about events of their summer. What we did: eating lunch, going out for ice cream, playing basketball, playing Frisbee golf, and even catching some crayfish/tadpoles in a creek in Winchester.
I have found that students will often discuss things they are dealing with if they do an activity they enjoy. It also helps if you show them that you care, and have developed trust and accountability. Two of the BASE youth were able to maintain jobs over the summer. BASE youth talked about their current support systems and activities that they were going to engage in and were able to stay out of trouble with law enforcement. Students have returned to school. BASE students had to re-adjust to classroom rules and expectations for behavior.
So far behaviors have been a challenge for most students to not give in to negative peer pressure from others or seek negative attention from peers. However, BASE students are starting to realize that they are missing out on incentives for good behaviors and also receiving negative consequences for their actions. BASE staff has also really been focusing on students taking ownership/responsibility for each individual choice instead of blaming others. Within the next month, we are planning to start cooking some food items as incentives and also begin teaching some life skills to students.
Although we haven’t yet been able to do this yet, this is something that they/we are looking forward to. Today was a really good day behaviorally for all students. Students completed a full-day amount of online school assignments in the morning. They were allowed to watch a movie this afternoon and also received a drink of their choice at McDonald’s. We are always glad to reward students for good behavior!