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YAP’s Child Welfare Programs Focus on Permanency, Prevention and Well-Being

  • 4/16/2014 8:00:00 PM
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YAP is a nearly 40-year-old national nonprofit committed exclusively to community-based alternatives to out-of-home placement through direct service, advocacy and systems change.

Our approach to working with children, youth, families and communities is strength-based and blends elements of wraparound planning, mentoring, positive youth development, and balanced and restorative justice.

We are sensitive to the issues that face many of our young people, such as trauma, violence, and poverty and engage the community--both the formal services and positive people, places and activities-- to work together to support families. As a matter of fact, the OJJDP recognized YAP's expertise in Family Engagement in their recent webinar series on the topic.

Most importantly, we never give up and have a "no eject, no reject" commitment to our kids and families.

Examples of our Child Welfare Outcomes
  • 90% of YAP youth were living within a home setting at discharge.
  • 98% of families served through “Improving Families” remained safely intact upon discharge
  • 82% of families served through our “Reunification Services” remain safely intact upon discharge

Highlights of YAP’s Work


We have a strong focus on permanency by offering programs that help expedite reunification of youth with their families, helps find families for youth who lack a permanent resource. We also help recruit and train foster families to show unconditional commitment and work with families of origin. An outstanding example is our reunification service for youth 0-5. This article talks about our program in St. Lawrence County, New York, which has had a 100% success rate in safely reunifying- or finding permanent resources for- the vulnerable children in its program for the past two years.


We help strengthen and stabilize families who have reports of child abuse or neglect avoid further penetration into the system through in home modeling, coaching and support.


YAP has extensive experience engaging youth preparing to age out: 74% of our youth are aged 13 or older. YAP services help to build on strengths, overcome challenges, navigate complicated systems, and gain work experience. Most importantly, we help youth (re-)build bridges that forge permanent connections with biological or fictive kin, recognizing that these relationships are critical to long-term positive outcomes. Many of our transition age youth participate in our services described above in addition to the specific programming elements to meet their specific needs.


70% of our youth served are youth of color.

Shelby’s story, featured in our "Safely Home" documentary, shows how YAP helps youth succeed. Shelby was one of the young women that we reunified with her family after multiple placements in foster homes, non-secure and secure facilities. Shelby is now going to community college and living safely in her community.



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