The CSI Youth Advocate Program is an intervention strategy used to assist in stopping the trend of youth violence by offering an intense community-based program for youth at risk of being committed to DYS, or youth who are in aftercare and at risk of re-commitment to DYS. A trained adult advocate is partnered with the youth and their family and serves as a role model and confidant.
The program is designed to provide opportunities for targeted youth and their families to develop, to contribute, and be valued as assets so that communities have safe, proven effective and economical alternatives to institutional placement:
- Individualized Service Planning: Interventions and goals are tailored to each youth and family’s unique needs, strengths, and interests.
- Cultural Competence: Staff demonstrates respect for and knowledge of different cultures and values in practice.
- Partnership with Parents: The unit of intervention is the entire family. Families are co-designers of their own services and are invested in having the plan succeed. Staff works with families in achieving their goals as opposed to doing things for them.
- Focus on Strengths: Intervention and Service Plans build on youth, family, and community strengths to address deficits and weaknesses.
- Team Work: A team of professional and non-professional individuals who care about the youth and family work together in helping the family achieve their goals. All team members contribute in a meaningful way to helping the family achieve their goals.
- Community-Based Care: Supportive persons and associations are organized on behalf of the family from within the community. These are both formal (professional/system) and informal (natural) supports.
- Unconditional Caring: Staff shows consistent positive regard for families despite resistance or non-compliance. Staff maintains a “never give up” approach with all youth.
Adolescents involved in YAP must be court ordered.