Department of Youth Rehabilitation Services

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Frequently Asked Questions

What does it mean for my youth to be committed to the DC Department of Youth Rehabilitation Services?

Once the DC juvenile justice system commits a youth to DYRS, the agency assumes legal custody of the youth. While DYRS has legal custody, it has the authority to determine the best course of rehabilitation for your youth.  The role you play in nurturing your youth remains intact and is essential to your youth’s successful rehabilitation.

The judge may determine if your youth’s commitment to DYRS is restricted to a specified amount of time or if it is unrestricted.  If the commitment is unrestricted, DYRS may determine when it is appropriate to end the youth’s custody. No commitment to DYRS can extend past the age of 21.

Will my youth be safe?

All DYRS facilities maintain a safe and secure environment and are staffed by professionals who believe in a youth’s potential to become a successful adult.

What is a normal day like for my youth in a secure facility?

Youth are served breakfast, lunch and dinner. They participate in daily activities such as school, job training, and gym.

Will my youth be attending school?

Yes. All school-aged youth are required by law to have the opportunity to attend school. 

Will my youth get his or her regular medications?

Yes. Your youth will have all of his or her documented medications. 

My youth has special needs. How do I know he/she is going to be cared for properly?

All youth with documented special needs will receive the services they need; DYRS facilities comply with federal laws governing special needs services.

How do I pick up my youth's personal property at the Youth Services Center?

The Youth Services Center has two property pick-up days per week, Mondays between 3pm-5pm and Wednesdays between 4pm-8pm. Please have government-issued ID with you and claim any items within 30 days of your youth's release from YSC. YSC is located at 1000 Mt. Olivet Road, NE, Washington, DC  20002. For directions to YSC using public transportation, please refer to the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority website at wmata.com. YSC is closest to the Rhode Island Metro Station on the Red Line, and the D8 bus line (towards Union Station).

Can DYRS help my youth find employment?

Yes, DYRS can assist a committed youth between the ages of 16 to 21 with their job search, if the youth lives at home or in a community placement. For this to happen, the youth’s case manager or social worker must first make a referral for the youth. Then, once the DYRS Office of Workforce Development determines the youth’s eligibility, someone will get in touch with the youth to begin this process.

Are youth employment positions paid?

If a youth successfully completes training, then the youth would be eligible for a paid internship or an occupational skills training program for up to 90 days. Out-of-school youth can work up to 30 hours a week and youth who are in school can work up to 16 hours a week.

What type of employment will my youth recieve?

DYRS attempts to link youth to jobs that match their career interests and goals. Once a match is determined, youths go on interviews for open positions. 

What if my youth does not like their job or can’t perform?

If a youth does not like the worksite, he or she must communicate with their assigned DYRS Job Coach to discuss other options and determine career likes or dislikes. 

Who should my youth call if they know they are going to miss work?

If a youth is going to miss work, the youth should contact his or her worksite supervisor immediately along with his or her DYRS Job Coach.

When is my youth coming home?

The timing of a youth’s return home varies, is based on his or her individual situation and is contingent on factors including your youth’s behavior, whether he or she completes DYRS program requirements, the expiration of the youth’s commitment period to DYRS, and whether the court amends its ruling in the youth’s case.

What if I don’t want my youth to come home?

If, for any reason, a youth is unable to return home, then the case manager and others will explore options at the youth’s Youth Family Team Meeting.  

Does DYRS offer alternative programs for families needing help with troubled youth before they are in the juvenile justice system?

DYRS provides services for youth who are in our custody and care. However, there are resources available for families of youth who show defiant behavior at home, are truant, violate curfew rules, or run away from home.

The following organizations may be useful for families seeking assistance: