New Britain City Journal

New Britain's Weekly Online Newspaper

Health

Youth Service Bureaus Help Kids and Families Across State

(Part two of two parts on the YSB)

So what about New Britain’s YSB?  At New Britain Youth & Family Services there are several programs and services that benefit youth and their families as well as save taxpayer dollars.  The Juvenile Review Board (JRB), already written about in a previous article, has proven to be an extremely effective intervention for diverting youth from the juvenile justice system.  Other services such as individual counseling, family therapy, and after school support groups have proven to be helpful.  NBYFS also operates Care Coordination services within the Greater New Britain System of Care.  The program serves families of children with behavioral or mental health diagnoses utilizing a family-driven approach known as Wraparound.  In addition, NBYFS provides parochial school social work and counseling services under the Federal Fair Share Act.  On a group level, NBYFS has multiple programs including its “Holiday Mitten Tree” gift and food program, Substance-Free Family Day, Commission on Youth & Family Services Awards Breakfast, and several other positive youth development group activities that involve experiential education such as Wilderness School, family deep sea fishing, hiking and rock climbing.  Moreover, NBYFS also has ongoing groups for youth leadership, after-school support and parent support.

Recently, a former NBYFS client returned to say hello after not being involved with the agency for about 15 years.  He happened to come by on the same day, and at the same time, as another former client.  Though they were not involved at the same time with the agency, the two fondly shared their experiences about NBYFS.   Each expressed this thoughts and emotions reminiscing about what the staff and programs at NBYFS meant to them, vowing to later post on the agency’s Facebook page.  The two are currently employed, one in New Britain, the other out of state.   The former client residing in New Britain volunteers at several of the agency’s events and continues to check in with the staff at NBYFS.  The one who is out of state is currently pursuing a master’s degree and licensure in Social Work.  He plans to return to New Britain to work with children and families.

Youth Service Bureaus have a great deal to offer children, teens and families.  They have documented success at keeping kids out of the juvenile justice system as well as away

from costly out of district residential and educational placements.  They prevent teen pregnancy and other at-risk behaviors, promote optimal developmental and educational activities, and advocate for youth at governmental levels where youth typically would have no voice.  In short, they are in integral part of each community and benefit the entire community as well as the state as a whole.

If you have questions regarding YSBs or would like to contact New Britain Youth & Family Services, please call 860-826-3366.  You may also come to the office in Suite 301 of City Hall, 27 West Main St. in New Britain.