Role of YSB

(As described in the CT State Department of Education's Youth Service Bureau Annual Report for 2004-2005)

The role of the youth service bureaus is to serve as an advocate for youth and "as the coordinating unit of community-based services to provide comprehensive delivery of prevention, intervention, treatment and follow-up services" for children and youth. These services are designed to "meet the needs of youth by the diversion of troubled youth from the justice system as well as by the provision of opportunities for all youth to function as responsible members of their communities" (C.G.S. section 10-19m; see Appendix A). A YSB is "a non-coercive, independent public agency established to divert children and youth from the justice system by:

  1. mobilizing community resources to solve youth problems,
  2. strengthening existing youth resources and developing new ones, and
  3. promoting positive programs to remedy delinquency breeding conditions."

A town may operate its YSB directly or combine with one or more other towns to jointly operate the YSB, or a town may designate a private agency to act as its agent for the purposes of providing services to youth.

The YSBs have a broader scope of service than most other youth-serving agencies. In addition to providing direct services like other agencies, YSBs are responsible for assessing the needs of youth, identifying gaps in services, and coordinating services for youth in order to fill gaps and avoid duplication of services. Many youth service bureaus also play a special role working with the juvenile justice system to meet the needs of children and youth found to be delinquent or identified as being in a family with service needs (FWSN).

Five Areas of Function:

Community Involvement

  • Volunteering Recruitment
  • Running Meetings
  • Statewide Networking
  • Regional Networking
  • Gaining Entry into Systems
  • Community Organization and Outreach
  • Board and Task Force Involvement
  • Empowering Community Organizations
  • Youth Advisory Board

Resource Development

  • Networking
  • Providing Information
  • Fundraising
  • Program Development
  • Knowledge of Foundations
  • Provide Technical Assistance
  • Provide Consulting to Other Groups
  • State Funding
  • Professional Development
  • State and National Awareness

Research and Assessment

  • Needs Identification & Assessment
  • Program Evaluation - Existing and New
  • Grant Writing
  • Program Selection
  • Library/Resource File
  • Statistical Analysis
  • College/University Interface
  • Program Development

Advocacy

  • Voice for Youth and Youth Issues
  • Media Relations
  • Speaking at Public Hearings
  • Contacts with Local & States Officials
  • State Funding
  • Letter Writing
  • Endorsing/Creating Legislation
  • Networking
  • Proactive Trend Awareness of Youth Issues
  • Increase Community Awareness of Youth Needs

Management and Administration

  • Staff Recruitment and Supervision
  • Staff Evaluation and Development
  • Filing Regulations and Implementation
  • Monitoring of Subcontractors
  • Maintenance of Organizational Structure
  • Financial Management - Budgets, Grants, etc.
  • Casework and Clinical Supervision
  • Staff Morale and Burn-out Prevention
  • Management and Information Services (MIS)
  • Board Management
  • Marketing
  • Facility Management
  • Policy Development
  • Decision Making
  • State Funding
  • Legal, Insurance & Tax Issues