FYA Facts


What is Youth Assistance?

Youth Assitance is a non-profit organization that offers professional counseling services and conducts programs for youth and their families who live within the Ferndale School District. Our mission is to strengthen youth and families through volunteer involvement. FYA is 1 of 26 community based programs of the Oakland Conuty Probate Court/Circuit Court-Family Division.

Who can refer youth and families?
  • Parents
  • School Personnel
  • Police Officers
  • Concerned Citizens
If I need Youth Assistance services,
how much will it cost me?

A one time processing fee of $25 to residents of Ferndale School District for services. Non-residents will be referred to the appropriate Youth Assistance office.

What are some reasons to refer youth? 
  • Family conflict problems
  • School or home truancy
  • School or home incorrigibility
  • Shoplifting
  • Substance abuse issues
  • Curfew violations
What are Youth Assistance services?
  • Information & Referral services
  • Youth and Family Counseling
  • Youth Involvement
  • Summer Camp
  • Youth Enrichment
  • Family Education
  • Youth/Adult Mentors PLUS program
  • Youth Recognition
Who sponsors Ferdnale Youth Assistance?

Oakland County Probate Court/Circuit Court-Family Division, City of Ferndale, City of Pleasant Ridge, and Ferndale School District.



Oakland County Youth Assistance

A National Model for the Prevention of Delinquency, Neglect, and Abuse

Strengthening Families in Oakland County Since 1953

Oakland County Youth Assistance began in Hazel Park, Michigan in 1953. Over the next 20 years, it expanded throughout the county and now encompasses 26 local affiliates.The Youth Assistance Mission
“To strengthen youth and families and reduce the incidence of delinquency, neglect, and abuse through community involvement.”
One unique feature of Youth Assistance and a key to its stability over time is its tri-sponsorship. The Circuit Court-Family Division is one sponsoring group. The local school districts make up the second group of partners, and the municipalities (cities, villages and townships) are the third. Each local YA program is co-sponsored by the courts, the school district it encompasses, and the municipalities therein. In all, over 80 branches of government and school districts sponsor and support YA. The Courts provide the staffing for each local Youth Assistance program. The other local sponsors provide the office, and necessary clerical support to operate the counseling and community organizing components of the program.

“To strengthen youth and families and reduce the incidence of delinquency, neglect, and abuse through community involvement.”

The Youth Assistance Mission

The approach used to address our Mission Statement is two-pronged.

The first includes providing direct, family-focused, free, confidential, accessible, and timely casework services to youth and families in the community. Referrals to the program come primarily from the police (34%), the schools (51%), and parents themselves (10%). Any youth from 0-16 years of age who lives in Oakland County can be referred for services. Each year over 3,600 referrals are received. About 60% of those referred are males, and the average age is about 12.7. Referrals can be for such things as incorrigibility, truancy, retail fraud, larceny, assault, alcohol or other drug offenses, etc. Referrals can also be for situations where no illegal act has occurred but where changes in a child’s attitude or behavior are noted, perhaps withdrawing from peers due to a pending divorce. In each case, a family-assessment is conducted, that in addition to focusing on the particular incident identifies the needs and strengths of all members of the family. Based on the assessment, a casework plan is developed with the family that may contain specific actions for the parents, each sibling as well as the referred youth. Sometimes the family or individual members of the family are referred out to other community resources for services. There are no preset time limits, or number of visits. Typically, services last 3-6 months.

The second approach used by Youth Assistance, Community Organization, is key to keeping our program vibrant and responsive to the needs of each community. In each local YA area, individual s who live and/or work in the community come together to form a working Board of Directors. In some communities this Board is made up of less than a dozen individuals. In other communities, as many as 50 people serve on the Board or its subcommittees. These Boards are responsible for identifying issues in their communities that contribute to delinquency, abuse, and neglect. They must then identify existing community resources that may already be or potentially could be addressing these identifies issues. Finally, they develop programs to meet unmet needs. All of this is often done in collaboration with others in the communities including schools, service clubs, the faith community, and businesses. While each community is unique, there are some commonalties. In every community there are parents who need to improve their parenting skills. There are youth who need mentors, recreation, skill and self-esteem building opportunities. And, there is a need to recognize youth for doing positive things for their communities.

Annually, over 1,000 volunteers participate in some capacity, as a member of their local Board, on a subcommittee or by performing specific tasks like driving kids to and from camp, or helping with fundraising. Many of our volunteers are school personnel or work for the municipalities who co-sponsor their local YA program. Other volunteers include members of the faith community, senior citizens, homemakers, business leaders, and youth. If someone wants to make a contribution of their time and talents, we have a job for them to do.Edit This Post

Pay FYA Now, Or Pay More Later

  • $413 buys you one day at a state juvenile facility (Average stay is 660 days, for a total cost of $272,580)*
  • $169 buys you one day at Children’s Village (Average stay is 175 days, for a total of $29,575)*
  • $20 buys you one day of Intensive Probation (Average probation period ios 180 days, for a total of $3,600)*
  • $7 buys you one day of Standard Probation (Average probation period is 240 days, for a total of $1,680)*
  • *None of the above figures includes the cost of adjudication that typically costs thousands of dollars.
  • For $2, you buy one day of Youth Assistance Casework Services (Average service period is 120 days, for a total of $240)

Which one will it be, a long weekend at Children’s Village or four months of family-focused counseling services with a 92% success rate of preventing involvement with any of the above?