The Youth Assistance Program
A student may be referred to the Youth Assistance Program for a number of different reasons including such things as truancy, tardiness, family issues, difficulties with peers, bullying, being a victim of a crime, aggressive behavior, low self-esteem and others.
If a youth is referred for support the family is contacted and an initial appointment is set up at the Youth Assistance Program. This time is spent familiarizing the young person and parent with the different programs offered, the staff and program policies. The parents and youth can then decide if they would like to continue receiving support and in what manner. This could mean individual meetings with a staff member, taking part in a group or visits that include the youth and parent. There is no specific number of meetings required or fees for services. Involvement with the program is tailored to the individual student with the input of the parent. Continued involvement is not mandatory.
At times a youth is referred to the Youth Assistance Program as part of a school disciplinary plan. In this case, there is a requirement that the youth needs to fulfill to comply with the consequences set down by the school in response to infractions of school policies. The student might be required to take a violence prevention program, obtain drug education or get involved in the positive decision making group. There may be a set number of visits required by the school. Again the first step with such a referral is a joint meeting at the Youth Assistance Program office between the student, parent and program director. Once the young person fulfills the requirements the school is notified. If the conditions are not fulfilled the youth may be subject to suspension or other disciplinary action.
The third type of referral is for juvenile court diversion services. This type of referral is made when a student has been charged with a juvenile offense and has not previously been in trouble with the law. In this event an initial meeting is held at the Youth Assistance Program followed by a home visit. A Juvenile Review Board meets with the youth and parent to hear the circumstances of the offense and develop a plan of accountability. The youth then works with a Youth Assistance Program staff member to complete the contract conditions. If the student is successful in the program he or she will avoid further court action and a juvenile record.
The Youth Assistance Program serves the communities of Northfield and Tilton. Please feel free to call for more information. The phone number is 286-8577. Referrals may be made by the police, courts, schools, parents or by the young person experiencing trouble.