Youth Services Agency, (YSA)

A Positive Outlook

Kristin DeForest, LPC is the new Executive Director of Youth Services Agency and brings with her ex¬tensive knowledge about juvenile justice program management, regulatory and compliance issues, performance and quality improvement, treatment best practices, team-building, and outreach from her work as ED at Edison Court. There she has been an instrumental leader in the company’s expansion and accreditation.

Kristin’s background includes volunteering as a Peer Reviewer for the Council on Accreditation (COA) and serving on the board of a local chapter of Meals on Wheels in addition to serving as the Vice President for the Board ‘s of both ECI and YSA. Her work with other nonprofits gives her credibility with the staff at YSA and makes her ready to lead the charge with a new mission at YSA. In a recent sit down, Kristin discussed her vision moving forward.
Can you talk a little about what partnership with Edison Court means for YSA?

Simply put…the best of both worlds. YSA will now have the oversight and support proven effective at ECI, especially in the areas of clinical programming, compliance, and contin¬uous quality improvement. Our dedicated and experienced management team is excited about reinvigorating such a unique and effective program for at risk youth. By invest¬ing in the Human Capitol necessary to deliver top notch services, the Camp will soon be able to excel at what they do best….providing a peaceful environment full of quality services such as top notch educational instruction; individ¬ualized group, family, and individual counseling; meaningful community service; empathy enhancing animal care; and adventure programming.

Why are you confident in the camp’s new direction and the future for it’s programming?
We have an experienced leader in Kris Caffier LCSW, CAADC who is committed to the program’s new mission. She is not only intimately familiar with the program but brings with her a clinical expertise which is critical in shift¬ing the culture to a more trauma-informed and therapeutic environment. We have been investing heavily in recruiting qualified direct care and clinical staff in order to provide a more substantive service to our youth.
Looking ahead-its six months in the future-what can we expect to see at the camp?

A high functioning academic curriculum that will rival the public schools, staffed by qualified and certified teachers and led by an experienced Academic Director with an in¬tense passion for ensuring that each and every student ex¬periences success.

Individualized clinical services provided by a Master’s Lev¬el therapist, Drug and Alcohol Counselor, and supporting Bachelor’s Level Counselors. Services to include individu¬al, group, and family therapy.

Direct Care staff more fully trained in Trauma Informed Care and ways to engage youth in a strengths based manner. A return to weekly ACT Weekend programming with a more structured service delivery communicated well in advance so referral sources have the information they need when deter¬mining which clients to refer and when based on their needs. A more formal means of tracking outcomes will be imple¬mented as well as a plan for continuous quality improvement at all levels of operations.