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Standards Relating to Youth Service Agencies

NCJ Number
Date Published
144 pages
These juvenile justice standards for youth service agencies (YSA's) cover the establishment of YSA's, objectives, decision structure, access to YSA's, the service system, monitoring and assessment, and organization and administration.
As used in this volume, a YSA is a community-based agency that is independent of the formal juvenile justice system or traditional child welfare system and is designed to provide appropriate services to diverted and nondiverted youths and their families by direct services and the coordination of existing resources, as well as the development of new services. The standards presented are based largely on information collected during a field exploration of YSA's conducted for the Juvenile Justice Standards Project during the spring and summer of 1974. Eighteen agencies were observed in six States. The standard for establishing a YSA deals with enabling legislation, and the standard for objectives describes service provision, while the standard for the decision structure focuses on control. Standards for access to a YSA are concerned with self-referrals and outreach; parental referrals for noncriminal misbehavior; citizen, agency, and school referrals; police referrals; police diversion standards; police liaison; court referrals; court diversion guidelines; minority review; court review; legal consequences of diversion; confidentiality; and right to refuse diversion. Topics of the service system standard include voluntarism, initial planning sessions, refusal by the juvenile to participate, resource evaluation, service development, and service provision. Planning, location, access, staff, and volunteers are considered in the standards for organization and administration. Appended are an assessment of five YSA's and a description of youth service programs in Scandinavia. A bibliography of 173 listings is provided.

Date Published: January 1, 1980