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DYRS Approach

Youth studying at a table

To help prepare youth to succeed, all aspects of DYRS culture—from staff training, to youth programs, to the agency's accountability mechanisms—are infused with the principles of Positive Youth Development (PYD) and Positive Youth Justice (PYJ). PYJ applies positive youth development theories in a juvenile justice setting and uses a strengths-based approach to serving youth.

Three core goals guide the agency’s work:

Youth Prepared to Succeed

Helping court-involved youth develop the skills and relationships they need to succeed is DYRS’ most important long-term public safety strategy. The agency has adopted the PYJ framework as its core evidence-based model for providing supports, services, and opportunities that help young people become healthy, successful adults. This approach means building on the youths’ strengths to help them reach their full potential.

Safe Facilities and Safe Communities

Improving the long-term safety of neighborhoods across the District by ensuring that youth are living in a safe environment, properly supervised, and receiving the support they need to thrive.

Efficient and Effective Management

Managing agency resources smartly, operating transparently, and taking a data-driven approach to improving agency performance.