YAP's work is built on a foundation of research demonstrating that people do better throughout their lives when they receive support in their communities to strengthen their social, emotional, financial and physical wellbeing, rather than being placed in institutions. YAP engages in a number of activities designed to create the best possible environments so that all people can thrive as healthy, well-rounded and fully engaged members of their communities. YAP carries out our mission through direct services, advocacy and policy change, training and consultation and investing in futures.

  • Direct Services
    Advocates in the Streets
  • Policy and Advocacy Change
    Changing Hearts, Minds and Systems
  • Training and Consultation
    International and Domestic
  • Invest in Futures
    Endowment Fund for Continuing Education

Direct Services

Our continuum of programming rebuilds well-being so that people who might otherwise be placed into institutions or other out-of-home settings can remain safely in their homes and communities and fulfill their potential. Our individualized services include helping youth and families heal from trauma, form healthy and stable relationships, meet their educational and employment goals, build positive and lasting connections in their communities, and develop essential life skills.

YAP specializes in supporting youth and families involved in the youth justice and child welfare systems; with behavioral needs, developmental disabilities, and school and educational challenges; and, most recently, with adults in the justice system. Annually, we serve more than 20,000+ families a year through programs in over 100 counties in 29 states.


Policy and Advocacy Change

YAP promotes public policies that create or invest greater resources in families and communities, and reduce reliance on institutionalization and rebuild well-being. We rely on the experiences of our program participants and direct service staff to inform how we advocate changing policies and systems that affect them and their communities, and we collaborate with like-minded organizations to maximize our collective impact.


Training and Consultation

Since 1991, YAP has helped “change the hearts and minds” of jurisdictions, schools, like-minded organizations and the broader public through providing training, consultation, technical assistance and education. This work is carried out in the United States and internationally.


Invest in Futures

In 2004, YAP started our Youth Endowment Fund. The purpose of the fund is to support our youth and families in pursuing college or vocational education to advance their skills and economic opportunities and fulfill their potential. The Endowment began awarding scholarships in 2007. Since its inception, YAP staff have raised over $2,000,000 for the Endowment and awarded more than 100 scholarships. Over 300 YAP employees contribute to this fund through weekly payroll deductions.