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!

Children in the Middle

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.

More Information

Register For Classes In Person Or By Phone At The:

Youth Service Bureau of Jay County, Inc.

603 West Arch Street

Portland, IN 47371

Phone: 260-726-8520

https://ysbjc.com/children-in-the-middle/

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

B.A.S.E.

Behavioral, Academic and Social Education


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!

The Youth Service Bureau of Jay County, Inc. (YSB) would like To Give Special Thanks!

Left To Right.

Carlin Tipton, Todd Weaver Jr., Chris Liby, Clint Skirvin, Carl Masters, Todd Weaver Sr., Thomas Hampton. Not Pictured: Ryan Wilson

The Youth Service Bureau of Jay County, Inc. (YSB) would like to send a special thanks out to Mark Lefever and the KBL Transport team for their recent generosity!

Property at 609 West Arch Street was recently purchased by the YSB. Thanks to their help and generosity we are one step closer to having a nice green space for supervised visitations, outpatient play therapy, and YSB employee functions.

Home-Based Family Services

What Are Home-Based Family Services?

Unlike the outpatient or residential programs, home-based services seek to work with families in the primary place of need – their own home! Whether working to preserve intact families or train and support them as they seek reunification, home-based workers are equipped to help families reach their greatest potential in a variety of ways.

What Types Of Services Fall Under Home-Based?

Family Preservation Services (FPS) were introduced in 2020 as part of a state-wide initiative to reduce the number of child removals and provide more support to parents in order to keep children safe. Family Preservation provides comprehensive services including the use of evidence-based parenting
models, providing concrete support for families, and intensive safety checking and planning.


Supervised Visitation provides a safe environment for children who have been removed from their home to maintain or improve a healthy relationship with their parent(s). Supervised visits may occur in the home, in public, or in an office setting according to family needs. Home-based workers provide guidance and support for parents to improve their parenting skills and promote healthy bonding with their children.


Home-based Casework and Homemaker/Parent Aid meet a variety of family needs including household management, employment, housing, parent education, mentoring, connecting with resources, transportation assistance, and a variety of other needs. Caseworkers and Homemaker/Parent Aids provide a broad assessment leading to strengths-based, goal-oriented treatment planning.


Home-based Therapy seeks to bring inner healing to children and families. Therapy may address issues such as trauma, substance use/abuse, mental health, and family dynamics. Home-based therapy is provided by Master’s-level clinicians and may occur in the home, public, or office setting.

Where Does YSB Provide Home-Based Services?

Home-based services are offered to families involved with DCS or juvenile probation. YSB Home-based programs are available throughout DCS Region 7 including Adams, Blackford, Delaware, Grant, Jay, Randolph, and Wells Counties along with Henry and Wayne Counties in Region 12. Specific services may be only be available in certain counties due to staffing and caseloads

K. A. R. S. S.

The Keeping At-Risk Students in School program works with youth that are suspended or expelled from school, or who
need extra support and guidance that are at-risk. These students participate in community service at locations around
Jay County, at places like the Jay County Humane Society, Jay County Retirement Center, Arts Place, United Way, Jay
County Antique Mall, local churches and libraries. Youth in this program also benefit from tutoring help, behavior
management and drug prevention education.


Since the beginning of the program, the KARSS program has worked with 1,039 youth and have completed over 10,430
hours of community service. The KARSS program is currently working with 18 youth and has been focusing on
completing schoolwork, walking dogs at the humane society, and helping with the bi-weekly food harvest food drive

Safe place

Safe Place is a national program that assists youth in crisis. Safe Place is a national youth outreach and prevention
program for youth under 18 years old. It is a national program, with 32 counties in Indiana participating. In Jay County,
there are currently 16 sites! These sites include: The Youth Service Bureau, Jay County Jr-Sr High School, Westlawn
Elementary, Redkey Elementary, East Jay Elementary, JRDS, Portland Fire Department, Portland Police Department,
Portland Pizza King, Jay County Retirement Center, Jay County Sheriff Department, Pennville Library, Dunkirk City
Building, Dunkirk Police Department, Bearcreek Trustees office, and Bryant Volunteer Fire Department. These sites are
trained to be able to help youth, that may come in needing help!


When youth finds themselves in a crisis, homeless, or with nowhere safe to go, they can rest assured that Safe Place
can give them the help they need. When a youth enters a Safe Place site, the training employees take them to a private,
safe area and then will get an idea about what is going. From there, they will call the Youth Service Bureau to inform
them that they have youth in need, and the staff at the Youth Service Bureau will tell them what staff will be coming to
the site to help the youth. Once the Safe Place Coordinator gets the site, she will get more information about what is
going on at home, and will help get the youth resources they need. If the situation is not safe for the youth to return
home, they will be offered a place to stay at the residential home, until things are figured out at home and it is safe to
return home. If the youth decides they want to return home that nights, their parents will be called and brought in, and
resources will be given so that next time the youth feels to be in crisis, they will not feel the need to run away again

Residential Care

“The reason I initially wanted to be a part of YSB is that it aligned with my degree. I thought that YSB would help me get a good start on my career once I finished college. I knew that I would be caring for children, and that is where my heart is. The third shift does not allow me to interact with the residents often, but I do feel like the residents are a part of my life and I’m keeping them safe. I do believe in this program, and it has helped me to realize that I do not want my own classroom once I graduate. My goal is to work with children who need guidance and counseling in dealing with personal or family issues.

As far as the program goes, I think that the kids have an abundance of opportunities while being given a safe place to live. The residents can engage in extracurricular school activities and join the workforce, depending on their age. The recreation calendar is full of daily activities to keep the residents occupied and giving them the opportunity to try new things. The residents have taken trips, and they are always doing outdoor activities during the warm months. I know that there is so much more to the program. These are just a few things that I believe would spark interest because a lot of people that I have spoken with portray YSB differently. Not really in a negative way, but they see it more as a jail rather than a program providing stability and support to kids and families.

There are also plenty of free resources and training opportunities for staff. Our boss is pretty cool too.” ~Amy Wicker, Direct Care Worker, Residential