Linda Ashman: Caseworker!

Linda Ashman has worked with YSB since 1998. Linda has worked in many different programs within YSB. She has been a faithful Homemaker in the Homebased Family Services Program since April 2011. As a Homemaker, Linda works one on one with children and families that are a part of the Department of Child Services. Linda works with the families to help provide resources and services to help children to be able to be reunified with parents or to help prevent removal from occurring. Linda has provided exceptional services to her families by going the extra mile with every case. Linda is faithful and puts her whole heart into the services that she provides.

Due to the experience and time that Linda has served at YSB, the Department of Child Services granted a waiver for Linda to provide a higher level of service as a Caseworker. During a Homebased staffing on December 8, 2022, Linda was presented with a Caseworker mug by Program Director, Katie Helm. We are excited as Linda continues to be an asset to the Homebased program at YSB.

Christmas Celebrations at YSB

(Left to Right) Residential Program Director – Mackenzie Ashley, Training and Facilities Manager – Scott Bissell, and Executive Director – PJ Corwin deliver Secret Santa presents to residents at this year’s Residential Christmas Party.
Each year, at Christmas time, the Residential Program takes steps to insure the residents have one of, if not, the best Christmas ever! There are several activities that take place. Here are a few of our favorites!  Paper chains hanging on beds- one of the activities they participate in is creating paper Christmas chains to count the number of days until Christmas. Each resident makes their own paper chain with each link symbolizing a day leading up to Christmas Day. Each day the resident tears off a chain link for the day and turns it into staff for candy! Another fun activity is the 12 Days of Socks, also known as the sock advent calendar. For the twelve days before Christmas, residents participate in fun holiday games with the winner “punching” the advent calendar for a new pair of socks. Our absolute favorite activity leading up to the Christmas party is Secret Santa! For the last few days leading up to our big Christmas celebration, each resident begins receiving gifts from their Secret Santa. Each resident has a staff person that becomes their Secret Santa. This staff person purchases small gifts for the resident for a few days before the Christmas party. When the resident gets home from school they find a small wrapped gift waiting for them. Then on the day of the Residential Christmas Party, the residents receives a big gift from their Secret Santa! After receiving and opening their gift the resident tries to guess which staff person is their Secret Santa. It is very entertaining watching and listening to the residents as they try to figure out who their Secret Santa is leading up to the party. It becomes hysterical as we (staff) get to watch them guess which one of us was their Secret Santa. It is a highlight of the party, and always seems to be a big hit with residents!
The Residential Christmas Party feast prepared by Tina Bechtol.

Lastly, we have our Christmas Party. On the night of the Christmas party, YSB staff and residents have a big feast, residents get gifts from their Secret Santa, open that gift, guess their Secret Santa, and then receive their Christmas presents. There is not an adequate way to describe the emotions felt, as an adult watching these children open their presents, some of whom have never experienced a Christmas anything like this one! This is what I have witnessed from our residents: there have been residents who have cried, saying that this is the best Christmas they have ever had, there have been residents that have smiled all night and not said a word, there have been residents that could not sit any longer and had to get up and literally jump for joy. A resident this year was so excited about her gifts that she had to stop and show everyone in attendance what she received after each present opened before moving on to open the next present! Many times, we have had residents tell us that they have never had name brand items before. They are so excited to have received a pair of Nike tennis shoes or Levi jeans that they get up to immediately go try on their new things. The joy they feel is contagious and as we leave for the evening we take a piece of that Christmas spirit with us. Celebrating Christmas at Residential is definitely my favorite part of working at the YSB!

We would also like to give a special shout out to Yvonne Duff who does an amazing job of picking out just the right presents for each resident every year! Scott Bissell and Tina Bechtol for decorating the house beautifully each year! Tina Bechtol for preparing the amazing feast that we have each year, not to mention the super tasty desserts! And to all the YSB staff who go out of their way to make Christmas extra special for our Residents!

Thank you for a fun Halloween!

YSB Halloween 2022, Trunk or Treat events
The YSB assisted with two festivities over Halloween weekend!
 
On October 29th the YSB, with the help of PJ Corwin and his family, participated in the Randolph County Trunk or Treat. Proceeds of the Trunk or Treat went to help support Prevent Child Abuse Randolph County. PJ and his helpers were dressed as DC heroes and villains for this event! During the event 176 children visited our area and received candy!
 
On October 31st the YSB, with the help of Elyse Bost, participated in the Portland Merchants Trick or Treat. During this event Elyse passed out candy and Safe Place information to 436 youth!
 
Thank you to everyone who attended and made these events possible!

K. A. R. S. S. Program

K.A.R.S.S. Program (Keeping At-Risk Students in School)

K. A. R. S. S.

Keeping At-Risk Students in School

My name is Elyse Bost and I am the new K.A.R.S.S. and Safe Place Coordinator at the YSB in Jay County! I love the K.A.R.S.S. program! The ability to take students to connect to the community is so important, along with showing them all they can give back with just a little bit of their time. One of my plans for the program is to get students connected with members in the community to allow room for all different kinds of opportunity. The most important thing for me to accomplish in this program is students graduating and having an idea of what they would like to accomplish after high school! It can be intimidating to graduate and not know all of the different options available to you. I just want to help them find where they want to go and give them the tools to get there!

The program is offered to Jay County students who are suspended, recommended for expulsion, and those at-risk of not graduating or being suspended/expelled.  Each element of the KARSS Program provides the student an opportunity to evaluate their choices which facilitated the referral, improve school performance, and to become more connected with family, community, and self. Specific processes will vary for each student based on individualized case plans and needs, but each will encourage positive behavior change and build feelings of competency, usefulness, belonging, and empowerment, all critical elements to preventing juvenile delinquency.

  • Referrals can be made by anyone, but must be approved by the Jay School Corp.
  • The program serves students in grades 7-12.
  • Work with clients is mostly one to one, or one to two.
  • Services provided to participants
  • Assistance in completing any missing assignments
  • Maintenance of incoming assignments
  • Assistance/tutoring in problem subjects as needed
  • Development of positive behavior change through the use of evidence-based life skills worksheets and follow-up discussion
  • Encouragement of skill building associated with problem solving, conflict resolution, personal responsibility, and self esteem
  • Assistance with identifying areas of interest to involve the student in community service that would provide instruction and experience in that area
  • Support with transitioning the student back into the regular school day
  • Supervision of student compliance to the personalized case plan

Contact/Referral InformationElyse Bost      Telephone: 260-726-8520    Email: elyse.bost@ysbjc.com

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.