Youth Services Agency, (YSA) a non-profit corporation, provides
a range of services for at-risk youth in the Juvenile Justice
Systems within PA and the surrounding Mid-Atlantic region. Our Mission is
to maintain at-risk youth in their families and communities, where
possible, and to help these youth become responsible and functional members of their communities.
YSA programs follow the "least restrictive, community-based and
graduated sanctions" mandates of the PA Juvenile Justice System (JJS). As a first priority, we try to serve youth and families in their own communities, followed by short term residential programs (several days to several months) for youth who can not remain in their communities while under Court supervision. Longer term residential care, over 3 months, is focused on vocational training programs with recognized skill certifications
for those youth deemed to need more extensive placements by JJS officials.
Our vocational programs are recognized by the PA Academic & Career/Technical Training (PACTT) Alliance which has additional information on their website about vocational outcomes.
YSA programs are targeted at known risk factors of delinquency:
negative peers, poor role models and values; poor school achievement; as
well as lack of attachments to community and empathy for others (David
Hawkins, et el.).
YSA programs follow the "Balanced and Restorative Justice" (BARJ) philosophy defined by the PA Juvenile ACT wherein the needs of the victim, community and offenders are equally considered. To this end, community service is a primary component of many of our programs, with the goals to restore the victim through restitution, restore the community through the preservation of public buildings and parks), encourage empathy, and teach offenders skills through community service and “hands-on” experiential learning. We have both in-house job skill training and extensive cooperative collaborations with outside organizations to teach skills.