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Youth and Family Services

Youth and Family Services

Youth Diversion and Development

Youth Diversion and Development (YDD) is designed to empower participants to improve their well-being and decrease the likelihood of involvement with the criminal justice system. AYC provides services for youth in lieu of arrest or citation, as the YDD program aims to divert youth from the criminal justice system while helping young people build their strengths, meet their needs, and reach their goals. Upon successful completion of the program, no arrest will be filed by law enforcement and no permanent criminal record of the alleged offense will be filed. AYC caseworkers and youth work together to develop an individualized care coordination plan that taps into each youth’s strengths while increasing access to youth development, health, and social services.

For more information, contact Cinthia Alvarado, YDD Program Manager, at (310) 628-4774 or cinthia.alvarado@aycla.org.

Employment Pathways and Vocational Opportunities

The Educational Pathways and Vocational Opportunity (EPVO) program aims to reduce juvenile delinquency and recidivism by providing case management services to probation youth in acquiring their high school diploma or GED/HISET, essential job readiness skills, or specific vocational training. Through case management services, AYC provide supportive services, such as external referrals to health, educational support, housing, and/or other services as needed and barrier removal (transportation assistance, obtaining documents needed for school enrollment such as a photo ID, SSN, transcripts, assistance with school clothes/school supplies, etc.). Each youth follows their individualized pathway based on an initial educational/vocational assessment, case planning and goal setting, enrollment, and retention and educational/vocational support services through weekly in-person or phone contacts with youth and weekly tutoring sessions for academic development.

For more information, contact Richard Toledo, EPVO Program Manager, at (310) 628-4558 or richard.toledo@aycla.org.

Re-entry Intensive Case Management Services

Re-entry Intensive Case Management Services (RICMS) provides support and connection to needed services in the community such as housing assistance, benefits and income, establishment assistance, money management assistance, transportation assistance, basic needs assistance, life skills and community integration assistance, and independent living skills assistance. Re-entry is a critical component of the Los Angeles Department of Health Services to reduce drug use and its consequences within the community.

For more information, contact Bertha Morales, RICMS Program Manager, at (323) 902-5697 or bertha.morales@aycla.org.

Health Ambassador Program

The Health Ambassador Program was designed to increase the ability of people experiencing homelessness to access testing, vaccinations, and treatment for COVID 19. The Health Ambassador Program coordinates resources, develops strategies and supports relationships to mitigate COVID-19 amongst the Homeless population. They also implement regular screening and diagnostic testing and increase vaccination rates. The Health Ambassadors ensure high quality and safe administration of vaccines and testing. They increase vaccine confidence through education, outreach, and partnerships with their clients. The program develops and implements community engagement strategies to promote vaccination efforts. The goal of the program is to increase vaccination rates and testing for COVID-19 and other illnesses for people experiencing homelessness. The Health Ambassadors provide the homeless community with PPE to decrease the spread of COVID-19 and provide connections to healthcare and housing-related resources and information.

Gang Intervention Program

The Gang Intervention Program (GIP) promotes healthy adolescent development and aims to decrease delinquency and criminal behavior. Designed for at-risk youth and their parents, participants engage in weekly discussion groups that focus on developing healthy cognitive-behavioral skills, including decision-making, anger management, substance abuse prevention, and other social-emotional learning topics. In addition, youth are engaged in three prosocial field trips. The parent component of the program focuses on empowering parents with effective communication, discipline, and household structuring skills. One hundred and ten (110) youth and their parents participated in this program last year. Pre- and post-test data indicated that youth and parents who successfully completed the program significantly increased their social-emotional intelligence, decision-making skills, and parenting skills.

For more information, contact Richard Toledo, GIP Program Manager, at (310) 628-4558 or richard.toledo@aycla.org.

Credible Messenger Mentor Program

The Credible Messenger Services program is an early intervention, community-based model that pairs youth with a specially trained adult “Credible Messenger” who comes from the same or a similar community, has lived experience in the juvenile or criminal justice system, demonstrates integrity, and is trained to mentor young people. This credibility will allow the participant to connect more effectively with the mentor, who can validate the youth’s experiences and role model a positive future, hope, and healthy prosocial behaviors for the participant who is currently in the juvenile facility and/or community. The Credible Messenger Program focuses on three services: family engagement, restorative justice healing circles, and individual mentoring.

For more information, contact Phoebe Larimore, Credible Messenger Program Manager, at (310) 628-4803 or phoebe.larimore@aycla.org.