We know that supporting people in their home and in their community helps them reach their full potential as a healthy, well-rounded, and engaged members of our society. We all benefit with a stronger and more resilient society.

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How we grow up impacts the adults we become. When we grow up with adversities- like facing discrimination and/or living in poverty and high crime neighborhoods- and without positive connections to people, places and activities in our community, our development is negatively affected: our brains and bodies literally change, making it harder for us to focus in school, sleep well, trust others, or make good decisions.

Often these challenges are the conditions that make young people vulnerable to being placed out of their home. Right now, more than half a million young people currently live in youth jails and prisons, psychiatric hospitals and group homes, or are disconnected from their parents, siblings and communities by being placed in foster care. Research shows that being placed outside of the home in and of itself is traumatic, and unfortunately many youth are further victimized while in placement.

The good news is that we can reverse the damage done by trauma and toxic stress. Brain research has discovered that not only are our brains developing into our mid-twenties, but that the damage caused by adversity can be repaired.

YAP services not only dramatically reduce the number of young people in institutions, but they also strengthen the foundation of young people from within their homes and communities through repairing broken relationships and connecting youth to new supportive people, places and activities.

Research shows that healing from trauma and developing to our potential comes from having adults in in our lives who create safe environments and support us. It’s through these relationships that youth can heal from trauma and toxic stress and build skills in resilience and in areas of their natural strengths.

So when we invest in children and young people today, we are firming their foundation so that they will be contributing members of society in the future, creating vibrant and healthy communities and improving the quality of life for us all.

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SOLUTIONS

YAP's Solutions to Societal Issues

  • Out-of-home placements
    are expensive
  • Out-of-home placements
    place youth at additional risk
  • Out-of-home placements
    disproportionately affect people of color
  • Out-of-home placements
    weaken communities

YAP's Solution:
Supports from Within the Community

YAP offers safe, community-based programs at half the cost of most out-of-home placements.

 

YAP's Solution:
Increase Protective Factors

YAP programs achieve good outcomes for youth and families, reducing further system involvement while strengthening family relationships, and connections to school, employment and community.

YAP’s programs also reduce costly, long-term reliance on public welfare and other systems by helping young people learn to function safely and independently. Staff help young people establish and achieve educational, vocational training and employment goals. YAP also helps develop a sustainable team of individuals from the community who can provide support after YAP involvement has ended.

YAP's Solution:
Advocate Matching

Approximately 70% of the population served by YAP is youth of color. YAP staff, hired from the communities they serve, provide positive role models who share the youth’s culture and ethnicity.

YAP's Solution:
Invest in Community

By reducing reliance on out-of-home placement, YAP provides opportunity for saved dollars to be invested in communities instead of institutions. YAP hires community members, provides Supported Work opportunities with local businesses for many youth, and engages young people and families in activities that give back to communities.