Youth & Family Services (YFS) is a non-profit, tax exempt 501 C 3, community based provider. All services are offered at no charge or on a sliding scale fee All employee's & volunteers at YFS have passed both a DPS & DFPS background check & must do so at least every 2 years. YFS is not a federal, state or county agency. YFS is not Children's Protective Services (CPS) nor do we perform any of the functions of CPS, such as removing children from their homes. In fact just the opposite is true...the goal of YFS is to preserve & strengthen the family unit.
Our staff are not Therapists but Family Support Specialists (FSS) who primarily provides one on one sessions with youth as well as their family members in order to help navigate each member to a healthy state of being. The youth and families we serve are provided with resources & linkages in the community that will meet the needs of each family member. Family Support Specialists live in the areas we serve and are committed to providing the highest quality of services available to the Tri- County areas of Austin, Columbus, and Fayette
Focusing on Prevention and Intervention that is designed to keep those we serve from the more acute institutions in society, ie, Juvenile Detention, CPS, Mental Health , or Incarceration we are gratified by the small and great successes that are made to maneuver our families on a positive path. By helping children put circumstances into a proper perspective that they can understand is oftentimes all it takes to change their behavior in a more positive direction.
One such case required a caring Family Support Specialist (FSS), 2 pieces of paper, some markers & 1 hour. The child was a boy, 7 years of age, who was having behavioral problems. In this particular session the FSS began talking with him about his family, his parents role & his role & the differences in those roles. They began to draw a boat for each of his family members, one for Dad, one for Mom & one for him. As they began to draw the boats, they discussed how big each boat should be. He decided Dad's boat should be the biggest, Mom's should be slightly smaller & his should be the smallest. As they drew, the FSS helped him understand his parents boats were bigger for a reason, because they had a lot of things they were responsible for, so they needed bigger boats. His boat was small because he was 7 & did not need a big boat. They talked about what he was responsible for in the family & related it to cargo on a boat. He wrote outside his boat the things he was responsible for, going to school, getting his homework completed, chores at home, being a good friend, etc. He instantly understood it was not meant for him to take on roles that were "too big", roles which belonged to someone else in the family. When asked what happens when a boat takes on too much cargo he replied "It sinks." The FSS was able to help him understand when he felt like he was "sinking" maybe he was taking too much "cargo" on his boat. He smiled at the FSS & told her he wanted to take his picture home because it made him feel happy & every time he looked at the picture he would feel happy. His behavior improved & the heart of a child was lightened.
YFS: Who are we & what do we do?
Our Board Members
Dr. Rob Gobert William Bill Smith
Fritzie Kulhanek Brenda Rainosek
Veronica King Carol Richter
Interested in applying to become a Board Member at YFS?
Please contact us.