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!

Jay County Fair – Patriot Prep Camp

Jay County Fair - Patriot Prep Camp - Youth Service Bureau
Jay County Fair - Patriot Prep Camp - Youth Service Bureau

PATRIOT PREP CAMP

The Youth Service Bureau was excited to work with youth preparing for kindergarten at the Jay County Fair this year through Patriot Prep Camp activities! Over 70 youth stopped by to complete kindergarten activities including making shapes out of playdoh, making the alphabet out of pipe cleaners, looking at nature through a magnifying glass and drawing what was seen, using dice for a counting activity, and a craft that helped students write their names on something they were able to take home with them! In addition, 70 youth received premade kindergarten readiness binders filled with activities that will help them work on the alphabet, numbers, sorting, shapes, colors, and rhyming!  There were 92 youth that were given reading books, kindergarten workbooks, flashcards or matching games! For those families who signed up at the Patriot prep camp for a chance to win a gift card, there were 3 randomly selected winners! These winners won a $50 Jay County Commerce gift card! The Youth Service Bureau is so thankful for The United Way of Jay County for funding the Patriot Prep Camp, and are excited to see all the new kindergarteners next year at the Patriot Prep Camp!
Jay County Fair - Patriot Prep Camp - Youth Service Bureau

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/

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

Not Too Late to Give!

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/.

Thank you so much for your support,

PJ Corwin

Executive Director

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