Join us at the YSB Fall Playgroup!

ysb family fall playgroup sept 28th 2022 haynes park

The Youth Service Bureau will be holding a fall playgroup on Wednesday, September 28th from 4:30pm to 6:00pm!

What: Youth Service Bureau Fall Playgroup
Where: Haynes Park, Portland, Indiana
When: Wednesday, Sept. 28th, 4:30-6:00pm
Who: All local families with children through preschool age

The fall playgroup is sponsored by the Portland Rotary Club. This event will be held at Haynes Park. All local families with children thru preschool age are invited to attend. There will be craft and activity stations for families to participate in and snacks and a book will be provided. The Youth Service Bureau invites families that are part of the Healthy Families program, as well as families in the community. The Youth Service Bureau would like to thank the Portland Rotary Club for sponsoring the event and providing the supplies for the fall playgroup!

Thank You Matt!

The Youth Service Bureau honored Matt Tomano in the May Board of Directors meeting for his nine years of service to the Youth Service Bureau and Board of Directors. Matt served as Vice President not long after joining the board and remained in that position only a short time before becoming board president, of which he held for the remainder of his time on the board. Matt was instrumental in supporting leadership through a number of challenging times during his years of service! Thank you Matt, for all you have done for the Youth Service Bureau and the community! 

Thank You!

Hi Alison!

You have been recognized by a DCS team member for being there when it counted!!  We are all so busy and it is hard to keep track, but there are so many times when our Service Providers truly show up when it counted and those are the times that make all the difference.  Thank you for being there for our families and for us when it counted and for truly going above and beyond to provide a meaningful moment.

When it Counted Staff: Alison Strausbaugh

When it Counted Agency: YSBJC

When it Counted Service: Supervised Visitation

When it Counted Moment

“I want to recognize Allison for being there When it Counted!  Alison has worked really amazing with a parent which is not always easy.  This parent has strong opinions about their DCS Case and Alison continues to work with him and support his needs.  Alison is a calming presence in this father’s life!  He trusts her and responds really well to her.  We truly appreciate Alison’s hard work and dedication to this father as well as his little girl.  Thank you so much, Alison!!”

Say “Thanks” to a youth worker today!

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!

New Home-Based Program Director

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. 

Katie Helm, YSB Home-Based Program Director

Healthy Families would like to introduce our new Family Support Specialist, Tina Myers.

My name is Tina Myers. I am 31 years old. I have 3 younger sisters and 1 brother. My husband Greg and I adopted two children in 2019 Macie (6) and Quentin (5). We also just had our baby girl Elena (Raynie) in January. Our animal family consists of 2 dogs, 2 rabbits, and 11 chickens.


Our family likes to spend our free time camping, fishing, and traveling. We have been camping at Paradise Pointe for 10 years. Our goal is to make a home away from home where all of our family can make fun and precious memories that will last for years.


In my previous careers, I have either worked in Customer Service or worked with young children. Throughout my life, I have found that my biggest joy is helping others whether they’re older or younger. I believe that at some point, everyone needs help, even those who are afraid to ask for it. That’s one of the reasons why I am so excited to be a part of this program. Not only will I be able to help others with the help and training I receive from this team, but I, myself will also learn new ideas and new information
and get other perspectives along this journey.

We Would Like To Say Thanks!

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!

– Chris Dubach, Home-based/BASE Program Manager

As a Resident at the Youth Service Bureau

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.

Thank you!

Madelyn Stratton

Thank You! – Heart of Indiana United Way’s Economic Relief Initiative Fund

(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,

Chris Dubach, Home-based Program Coordinator