Youth Service Bureau Functions

What is a YSB?

Mandated by Connecticut General Statue section 10-19m, a Youth Service Bureau (YSB) is an agency operated directly by one or more municipalities that is designed for planning, evaluation, coordination, and implementation of a network of resources and opportunities for children, youth, and their families. In addition, YSBs are responsible for the provision of services and programs for all youth to develop positively and to function as responsible members of their communities.

YSBs have a broader scope of service than most other youth serving agencies. In addition to providing direct services like other agencies, YSBs have a responsibility to assess the needs of youth, identify gaps in service and coordinate services for youth to fill the gaps and avoid duplication of services. A town may operate its YSB directly or combine with one or more towns to jointly operate a YSB, or a town may designate a private agency to act as its agent for the purpose of providing these services.

The first community-based YSBs were established in the late 1960s in response to a growing concern regarding issues such as juvenile delinquency, family crisis, drug and alcohol abuse and school truancy. Currently there are 103 YSBs serving 137 towns across the state.

YSBs have both an Administrative Core Unit (ACU) function and a direct service function which are specified in State regulations.

ACU functions include:

  • Administration
  • Research
  • Resource Development
  • Community Development
  • Advocacy

The Direct Services function specifies that the YSB either directly or contractually or by referral, provide services that address the following needs:

  • Youth who are or potentially could be in contact with the juvenile justice system
  • Youth without the support or protective environment for normal development
  • Youth who manifest behavior which is potentially detrimental to themselves
  • The primary prevention needs of the community

YSBs provide a range of services including:

Youth Development

Adventure-Based Activities/Ropes Courses; After-School Programs; Anger Management Groups; Community Service; Leadership Programs; Mentoring; Peer Programs; Positive Leisure Time Activities; Substance-Free Alternative Activities; Summer Recreation Programs; Teen Centers; Theatre Troupes; Truancy/ Drop-out/Violence/Substance Abuse Prevention Programs; Wellness Programs; Youth/Adult Partnership Programs; Youth Employment and Job Training

Juvenile Justice

Alternative Sanction Programs; Court Advocacy; Court-Ordered Community Service; Detention/Suspension/Expulsion Prevention & Intervention Programs; Diversion Programs; Juvenile Review Boards; Truancy Prevention/ Intervention Programs

Family Involvement

Information and Referral; Parent/Child Therapeutic Playgroups; Parent Support Groups; Parent Workshops

Mental Health Services

Case Management; Child & Family Counseling; Crisis Intervention; Host Homes; Information & Referral; Support Groups

Child Welfare

Family Reunification; Information & Referral; Social Service Activities; Supervised Visitation; Therapeutic Playgroups; Holiday Giving

Teen Pregnancy Prevention

Counseling; Education; Positive Youth Development Programs; Support Groups

Community Outreach

Cultural Activities; Family Events; Field Trips; Holiday Festivals; Intergenerational Activities