La Plata Youth Services (LPYS) was founded in 1994 to provide a continuum of services to youth facing challenges in school, in court, and at home in La Plata County. We work with individual students and their families to help them increase their resiliency, confidence, and relationship-building within the community. We currently accept youth who are referred by schools, law enforcement agencies, the courts, parents, and youth themselves.
For our programming, we meet youth "where they are at" and provide services to them through our four main program areas:
We provide youth at risk of entering the juvenile justice system with an alternative, voluntary option in our Diversion Program. Our process is youth-centered and restorative in nature by providing youth opportunities to repair harm and build connections. We also give youth the tools to remain resilient during life's challenges which increases their overall health and wellbeing. Our statistics show that approximately 94% of youth complete this program successfully and 100% who do not reoffend while enrolled.
Our Radical Possibilities Mentoring Program (RP) reaches youth in grades 6-12 who are facing adverse life conditions that affect their well-being and ability to engage positively in their lives. Through the support of skilled mentors, RP helps youth become more empowered and resilient in the face of life's challenges. Youth have the opportunity to engage one-on-one with their mentors as well as participate in group activities. Participants often develop increased self-confidence and a new sense of belonging in their community.
Working with local school districts through our Community-In-Schools Partnership Program we provide school-based mental health and socio-emotional support services to students who face barriers to accessing care through individual and group sessions. Our goal is to improve overall youth wellbeing and resilience. This is done through a collaboration with local agencies and community partners who provide therapeutic services to young people in a school setting.
With past funding we partnered with the Durango 9-R School District to build a Restorative Justice Program. We coach students and teachers in the principles of Restorative Practices, which includes strengthening communities, allowing responsible parties to take accountability, and reducing the potential for repeating that behavior. With 6 schools participating in past years, we reached a total of 72 youth of which 99% of them did not enter the juvenile justice system.
We also lead several partner programs that builds on collaboration with other youth-serving agencies in La Plata County to better serve students, families, and schools. Currently, through the La Plata County Collaborative Management Program we are working with community stakeholders to find solutions for youth homelessness.
As a founding member of The Hub Therapeutic Program we developed an innovative educational model that provides a therapeutic approach to learning and development for the students who have significant emotional, behavioral, or psychological challenges within grades 6-12. Youth spend a full day at The Hub engaging in one-on-one academic instruction, receiving counseling, and engaging in pro-social extra-curricular activities.
Within each of our programs, we have a high success rate of youth who complete them, who do not commit any re-offenses, and who show an increase in school engagement and community connectedness. We continue to build strategic partnerships with schools and other community organizations to strengthen our programs and to increase our ability to reach more youth.
Our vision for the future is to go beyond meeting the needs of youth but also harnessing their voices to empower them towards advocacy and action. As an organization we have started to move towards this concept by recently adding three young voices to our board of directors. Our ultimate goal is for youth to be fully integrated into the community as active partners in their future and the future of La Plata County.
©2023 La Plata Youth Services