The History of the Youth Service Bureau

 
In 1981, 22nd Judicial District Judge John W. Greene saw a serious need for an organization to serve troubled and at-risk youth in the Northshore area. The Covington Junior Service League took on the project of seeking funding for such an organization, and with the help of area stakeholders a grant was secured, enabling the Youth Service Bureau to open its doors with a program that provided a means for juvenile lawbreakers to make restitution to their victims. This program, Crossroads, was the first of its type in St. Tammany Parish, processing referrals by the Court of non-violent juvenile offenders, scheduling and supervising their community service work, and later providing counseling as needed for the youth and their families.

The agency earned its 501(c)(3) status in February, 1982, and through the years became an umbrella agency after adding other major programs including Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA), a program of highly trained volunteers who speak in Court for abused and neglected children (1989); Families In Need of Services (FINS), a program that provides resources and support for families who have children with ungovernable behavior (such as running away and truancy) in an attempt to keep families from becoming involved in the Court system (1995); Options, a family-focused, licensed outpatient treatment program for adolescents who are experiencing problems with alcohol and/or other drugs (1996); and the Truancy and Assessment Service Center (TASC), a prevention program that provides resources and support for children in grades K - 5 and their families in order to reduce truancy and prevent juvenile delinquency (2001).

Today, the Youth Service Bureau is well recognized as an important social service agency serving both St. Tammany and Washington Parishes - Louisiana’s 22nd Judicial District - with an impressive record of effective and sensitive service delivery to clients of all ethnicities from every socio-economic background, dedicated to the belief that strong youth and families are the cornerstone of a strong community. As we enter our fourth decade of service, the Youth Service Bureau moves forward with an ever-expanding vision, providing highly-beneficial prevention and early intervention programs for the youth and families of St. Tammany and Washington Parishes.