By Michael Huntley, M.A., L.P.
YSB Program Director
YSB, and its counterparts around the country, were created more than 30 years ago to provide early intervention services for youth that may have been labeled as “delinquent” at that time. YSB continues to uphold this valuable tradition of early intervention in all of our work – and we know it works. As you can see in our 2015 Annual Report, we have fine-tuned a variety of ways to help families learn how to make better decisions which lead to better outcomes, from Diversion Services to Counseling and Parent Education.
Early Intervention is often thought of as a medical, or educational, screening tool used with young children to detect disruptions in development. But early intervention isn’t just for toddlers. At its core, it simply refers to the early identification of behavioral concerns and responding to them with strategies for improvement, rather than allowing them to grow or worsen.
At YSB we apply this approach with young people, through the age of 18. But it’s not just the youth that are served. We involve the parents and the whole family when possible, for the most positive outcome. Through this approach the whole community ultimately benefits.
As a result, we were honored to receive the Woodbury Chamber of Commerce’s 2015 Nonprofit of the Year award and we remain committed to continuing to develop and expand our programs and services to help families be successful.
In an effort to continue to meet the ever changing needs of the community, we launched a Parent Education program in 2014 which experienced tremendous growth in 2015 and is on track to more than double in 2016. Our experienced staff delivered parenting presentations on a variety of topics at various venues including schools, churches and businesses.
To better address needs of some of our Diversion Program participants, we redesigned some of the awareness classes to make them even more meaningful and effective. And we provided a therapist at the St. Croix Valley Alternative Learning Center who worked with our Chemical Health Specialist to provide early intervention strategies to meet the needs of teens attending that school.
We believe that if young people and their families are provided with accurate information and effective support, they can make better choices in their lives – and things will improve. I have worked at YSB for almost three decades, and I see this everyday. I am proud that we continue to provide respectful and high-quality early intervention to hundreds of families across Washington County and beyond every year.
We invite you to read our Annual Report to learn more about YSB, our supporters and our impact in 2015- and join our mission by SUPPORTING YSB!
More info and details at ysb.net/how-you-can-help/