Youth Advocate Programs (YAP), Inc. Grants will Accelerate Youth Justice and Other Systems Reform - Article Details

Youth Advocate Programs (YAP), Inc. Grants will Accelerate Youth Justice and Other Systems Reform

Five local and state governments or school systems will receive grants from Youth Advocate Programs (YAP), Inc. to launch alternatives to youth incarceration and other transformational services that keep kids safely home -- out of the justice system and residential care.

YAP has issued a Notice of Available Funding (NOFA) to match up to $300,000 per year for two years for five youth justice, child welfare and/or large school systems to pilot alternatives to youth incarceration and residential placement and school-based safety programs. Supported by a generous donation to YAP through a philanthropic gift, the grant-supported programming will implement the evidence-based YAP wraparound services (YAP Wrap™) model, which uses zip code staff recruitment to bring culturally responsive rehabilitative and youth and family support services to homes, schools, and neighborhoods.

“These grant awards will seed systems change, enabling us to scale our wraparound services model. We’re giving jurisdictions across the U.S. looking to make communities safer and close inefficient and costly youth prisons and other residential facilities effective, equitable and economical alternatives,” said YAP President and CEO Gary Ivory. “YAP will work with grantees to hire staff from their communities who will receive our ‘no-reject; no-eject unconditional caring training to empower program participants and their parents and guardians to see and nurture their strengths, firm their family foundation, and give back to their communities.”

A 48-year-old high-impact national nonprofit, YAP is already in over 150 communities in 35 states and the District of Columbia partnering with youth justice, child welfare, behavioral health, schools, and other systems to implement its time-tested community-based model as an alternative to placement and to help curb neighborhood violence.

Grant recipients are responsible for matching their start-up award funding for the pilot and sustaining their program beyond the two-year pilot. The YAP grant is open to government agencies, large school districts and managed care organizations.

Specifically, YAP will fund proposals that serve one of three groups:

  • Emerging young adults up to age 25 who are child welfare or justice system-involved; facing homelessness; and/or have been commercially sexually exploited.
  • Youth and emerging adults on probation and parole
  • Middle – high school students who face behavioral, academic learning loss, trauma, truancy, and other complex challenges who can benefit from year-round services and improved parent/guardian engagement.

“YAP offers enduring life changing interventions for program participants and their families while also providing taxpayer savings and local employment readiness services and job opportunities,” Ivory said. “Our individualized services – whether delivered through justice, child welfare, behavioral health or school systems – focus on safety, permanency and wellbeing by serving youth at home instead of in detention; reducing group home placements; improving outcomes for public school students facing learning and behavioral challenges; and safely reunifying young people who have been in placement with their families.”

YAP’s decades of service include working with many young people whose histories include serious offenses, multiple arrests, and lengthy out-of-home placements. John Jay College of Criminal Justice research found 86% of YAP’s youth justice participants remain arrest free, and six – 12 months after completing the program, nearly 90% of the youth still lived in their communities with less than 5% of participants in secure placement.

In 2022 across all YAP programs and service areas, 87% of participants were living safely in the community at discharge; 88% of participants graduated or were attending school regularly; and 96% of participants were not convicted of a new felony.

Learn more about YAP and how you can support its work at Systems administrators and leaders can access the grant application at A Letter of Intent is due August 25, 2023 and proposals are due September 25, 2023.


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Ryanne Persinger,
National Communications Director

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