Wednesday, May 7, 2014
The Department of Youth Rehabilitation Services, at its 2015 FY budget hearing, presented a report to the District of Columbia’s Human Services Committee on its city-wide youth programs that are beginning to attract national attention. Titled “Keeping the Promises”, the DYRS budget aims to maintain fiscal stability; work closely with agency partners in ensuring the District’s youth receive a quality education; ensure that young people receive the infrastructure needed to obtain employment and to keep District communities safe.
Examples of current outcomes include:
- 530 youth participated in subsidized employment programs in the 1st and 2nd quarters of FY 14
- Three youth were accepted into four-year universities; nine received their GED and 92 improved their overall academic performance.
- 48 youth earned or worked towards industry recognized credentials, including A+ Certification and Food Handler Certification.
- At the same time, more youth than ever before have transitioned from DYRS care to independence, allowing the agency to reallocate funds to ensure optimal outcomes for youth, families and communities.
“Our outcomes demonstrate that we’re meeting the needs of our youth and we’re setting a model that the District and other cities around the country are beginning to notice,” said Neil Stanley, the DYRS director. “I’m very proud that we are moving towards providing the nation’s best continuum of care for court-involved youth and their families through a wide range of programs that emphasize individual strengths, personal accountability, public safety, skill development, family involvement and community support.”
This summer, DYRS will open a Youth and Family Achievement Center. It will serve as the central hub for youth to attain all of their service needs and provide a safe learning and meeting environment.
“As we move forward with the completion of the Youth and Family Achievement Center and providing youth with the skills that they need to thrive in their communities, we’ll also be focusing on overall continuous improvement and providing increased treatment options,” Stanley said.
The District of Columbia’s Department of Youth Rehabilitation Services is the District’s cabinet level juvenile justice agency. It administers detention, commitment and aftercare services for youth held under its care in its facilities or residing in the DC community. The agency is actively involved in several innovative programming models, partnering with locally and nationally recognized juvenile justice centers in the following types of programs; juvenile justice, continuum of care, alternative sentencing, supervised citation release and supportive living.