Youth Services Agency, (YSA)

act residential

 

ACT Residential

The ACT Residential Camp is our 56-bed camp residential facility for males and females ages 14-20 designed specifically with the needs of at-risk youth in mind.

The camp provides structure that challenge our residents to improve their behavior, and is designed to promote teamwork, self-esteem, self-motivation, and above all, respect for self and others. Therapy, Adventure, Education, and service are offered in a rustic camp setting all of with the goal of preparing our students for a successful return to their families and communities. Please click here for a profile of served youth.

At YSA’s ACT camp, animals are part of an educational and therapeutic strategy designed to help students develop important social and emotional skills, especially amongst each other, as they work collaboratively in our two nature centers. Programing includes meaningful community service projects, and experiential education in animal science, ecology, and wildlife/conservation. Since its inception in 2009, 94 students have completed our vocational training course in Animal care and Management and our students have gone on to find jobs in the animal care industry.

YSA students also perform daily animal husbandry duties for the more than 35 diverse species of mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, and invertebrates that reside at the Centers. Through these interactions our students learn patience, trust, nurturing, and empathy.

"Working with animals taught me how to love again".

-Aliza
YSA Graduate

1

Therapy

The ACT residential program provides an integrated, trauma informed treatment approach consisting of caring, honest and respectful communication that is focused on the relationship. Our outdoor adventure based environment allows for a more authentic opportunity for students to become vulnerable and create intrinsic behavioral changes. In this distraction-free and nurturing atmosphere students can begin to heal from anger, trauma, addiction, family conflict, and more.

Our therapeutic professionals are passionate about improving the lives of their students, building transferable skills and lasting change. Our treatment approach works to build strong support systems. We utilize an array of evidence informed interventions so our students can succeed upon return to their communities including the following:​

Individual therapy
Family therapy
Group therapy

For more information about out therapeutic services click here.

2

Adventure

We use adventure because it works. Through safe opportunities to climb, camp, backpack, hike, and Kayak students and field mentors break through boundaries, build self- awareness, and learn that they can do hard things. These opportunities to experience success promotes healthy identity development, improved-self confidence, and enduring change. Students then transfer this new found belief in their own potential for success back into their lives. Our adventure components occur with in a context of supportive relationships with field mentors, peers, and clinicians.

At YSA, creating a safe environment for our students is our number one priority. We maintain the highest standards of safety. Our field mentors maintain an engaged approach allowing students to be continuously observed.

3

Education

Academics

Many ACT students have had a history of academic set-backs that have undoubtedly contributed to other behavioral / emotional struggles.

Our Adventure Learning Center (ALC) is a Licensed Private Academic School accredited through the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE). We are transitioning our academic program in order to supply our students with hands-on curriculum that meets or exceeds local, state, and national standards for secondary education. Our focus and mission revolves around providing an education tailored to fit student individual needs, through GED, Credit Recovery, Vo-Tech, and Special Education programs. Our teaching team is comprised of PA subject certified educators who are dedicated and trained to meet the diverse needs of “at- risk” and under served students. We supply transition services including transcript review. Credits earned by our students are transferred to their home school.

Career & Technical Training

YSA provides on-site Pennsylvania Academic and Career Technical Training (PACTT) affiliated programming offering adult certifications in Veterinary Care Assistant, First Aid/CPR, and ServeSafe.

YSA students who successfully complete the Veterinary Care program have gone on to entry-level or higher positions in a variety of animal health and animal care fields including pre-vet science, pet care, animal rescue, agriculture, animal training, and zoology.

4

Service

Community service is a primary component of many of our services. In addition to encouraging empathy and teaching students skills through service projects and “hands-on” experiential learning, we strive to restore victims through restitution, and restore the community through the preservation of public buildings and parks.