Ongoing changes to Delaware’s juvenile justice system led the Department of Services for Children, Youth and their Families (DSCYF), Division of Youth Rehabilitative Services (DYRS), to request proposals for an Intensive Aftercare Re-Entry Program.
YAP was selected to support the transition and reintegration of youth returning to the community from secure care placement at the Ferris School. The new program will serve young men (typically ages 13 to 18) who have been serious and/or chronic repeat offenders. YAP will work in partnership with families and Community Probation Officers to achieve re-entry, recidivism, placement, education, employment and successful completion goals for each youth. The program shares core principles that guide YAP’s successful re-entry programs in numerous other states:
- A program model supporting trauma-informed care, focusing on strengthening connections between the family and community;
- Cultural and linguistic competent services;
- Optimistic individual planning tailored to the needs and strengths of each family;
- Respectful partnerships with parents and caregivers;
- Family focused and strength-based approach to problem-solving;
- Recruitment of staff from the neighborhoods where the young people and families live;
- Organization of relatives, fictive relatives and community members into teams to support families; and
- Opportunities for young people and their families to give back to communities in line with restorative justice practice.