La Plata Youth Services (LPYS) was founded in February of 1994 by representatives from the community, area school districts, local governments, and state entities to provide a continuum of services to at-risk youth and their families in La Plata County. Our agency serves as a resource to schools, law enforcement agencies, local human services departments, and other community agencies that come in contact with youth who are in need of additional support. In 2001, LPYS was designated by the 6th Judicial District Attorney as the single point of entry for all youth diversion cases in La Plata County. In 2006, LPYS began collaborating with area school districts to support youth and families facing habitual truancy charges by offering case management as an alternative to truancy court filings. In July of 2013, LPYS, Durango School District, Bayfield School District, and the 6th Judicial Court joined as founding partners of a community collaborative drawn together to identify, evaluate, and serve chronically absent and at-risk students in La Plata County through community-based, wrap- around care (SMART). In May of 2015 SMART, in partnership with LPYS and La Plata and Archuleta DHS, applied to the State of Colorado to initiate a Collaborative Management Program. Through our expansion into truancy services and by housing the community's Collaborative Management Program, we are able to collaboratively serve some of the most in- need and at-risk students in our community who would otherwise fall through the cracks. In 2003, LPYS received the 'Outstanding Business Award' and in 2013, the 'Community Leadership Award' both from United Way of Southwest Colorado. In 2015, SMART was selected as a finalist for the prestigious 'Colorado Collaboration Award'. In January 2016, LPYS received the Durango Chamber of Commerce 'Non-Profit of the Year Award'. In 2018, LPYS received the Award for Excellence for being one of four organizations in the state of Colorado doing excellent work from the El Pomar Foundation.
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