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Frequently Asked Questions -- Youth Assistance

Who is eligible for Youth Assistance services?

Any youth, up to age 18, who is an Oakland County resident or who goes to school in Oakland County is eligible for YA services, as is their family.

Who can refer a youth to Youth Assistance?

Most referrals come from police, school personnel and parents who are concerned about the behavior of a young person.

What kinds of things do youth do that result in a referral to Youth Assistance?

School and home truancy (running away), incorrigibility, assault and retail fraud (shoplifting) are a few of the main reasons for a referral to YA. There are only a few very serious things that police cannot divert (refer) to Youth Assistance, e.g., murder, criminal sexual conduct. Some youth are referred to Youth Assistance not because they have broken a law, but because they are having difficulty adjusting to a major change in their lives, e.g., a divorce, moving to a new area, loss of a pet, friend or family member, or are having social difficulties in school or in their neighborhood.

How much does Youth Assistance cost?

Family-focused casework services are free. There may be a charge for some of the community-based programs, such as parenting classes, camperships, recreation programs, etc. In many cases, fees can be waived for financial reasons.

Where is Youth Assistance located?

There is a Youth Assistance office located in every Oakland County School District. Lamphere and Madison share an office and Clarenceville is served by our Farmington office.

What type of services can I expect from Youth Assistance?

Services are tailored to meet the unique needs of each family. This might include short-term individual and family counseling, family assessment, substance abuse assessment, parenting classes, mentoring, skill-building and camp scholarships, recreation programs or tutoring. If we are unable to provide all

Does Youth Assistance offer a boot camp, drug testing, psychiatric or psychological services or substance abuse treatment or testing?

No, but we can refer you to someone who does.

Is participation in Youth Assistance mandatory or court ordered?

No. All YA services are voluntary, but if you have signed a Diversion Agreement with the police to avoid going to the Circuit Court Family Division on a matter and then refuse to participate with YA, the police may decide to take the matter back to court.

Does Youth Assistance work?

Yes! Two three-year longitudinal studies have been conducted by independent contractors which determined that 92% of the families Youth Assistance works with do not go on to have additional court contact. It takes the combined efforts of everyone in the family to achieve this level of success, but the rewards are worth it.

How can I get involved in Youth Assistance?

All staff are hired through the Oakland County Personnel Department.  Please check the County's Jobs section for any current openings. Each year over 1,000 volunteers are involved in various aspects of Youth Assistance.  Please contact the office in the community where you live to see what kind of volunteer opportunities may exist for you. You can find out more information at the Oakland County Sixth Judicial Circuit Court's Volunteer program page.