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Meeting the


Meeting the

Challenge Every day, Youth Villages counselors, teachers, staff, mentors and volunteers in 10 states and the District of Columbia are meeting the challenge — the challenge to provide the most effective help to children with serious emotional and behavioral problems, and their families. Youth Villages, in more than 20 years of service, has grown to become a national leader in the field of children’s behavioral health and a passionate advocate for the use of research-based programs. Our goal is to be a partner in change across the country as more states move to reform their child welfare, children’s mental health and juvenile justice systems. In this report, which covers fiscal year 2008 – from July 1, 2007, to June 30, 2008 – we’ll show you some of the innovative ways Youth Villages is using our in-home, foster care and residential programs to help improve the lives of children. We also honor the many volunteers, mentors, foster/adoptive parents and donors who are meeting the challenge with us. Together, we are committed to bringing hope and help to more children and families in more places every year.

Cover: Anne Cannon, principal of the Youth Villages Paul W. Barret Jr. School on our Bartlett Campus, and some of her students – (from left) Curtis, Jessica and Kendrick – who came to Youth Villages for help with emotional and behavioral problems. Left: Gabriel recently returned home from the Youth Villages residential program.

Table of Contents DEMONSTRATING SUCCESS Two Youth Villages in-home programs effectively help children and families learn to live successfully in the home. Youth Villages Multisystemic Therapy................................................................................2 Youth Villages Intercept......................................................................................................5

A NEW VIEW FOR FOSTER CHILDREN Youth Villages Transitional Living, Mentoring, Foster Care and Adoption Programs...... 10

STEPPING TOWARD HOME When residential care is needed, kids can step down toward home .............................. 16

INCREASING OUR IMPACT By partnering with donors, Youth Villages offers more programs in more states ........... 24

RESEARCH Detailed outcome evaluation helps us improve our performance ................................... 34

Kaliesha and her mom, Melody Harris, are happier now. They participated in the Youth Villages Multisystemic Therapy (MST) program in North Carolina and solved family issues and concerns.



Youth Villages provides intensive in-home services in every state we serve. Our family-based approach to helping children with serious emotional and behavioral problems is the foundation of everything we do at Youth Villages. In the Demonstrating Success section of this report, we highlight both of our intensive in-home programs: Multisystemic Therapy (MST) and Intercept.

Demonstrating Success Youth Villages’ Fast-Growing MST Program Reaches Out to Children and Families in North Carolina


ho could help Kaliesha? Every morning, her parents woke up to that question. Every night, they went to sleep in their North Carolina home with no answers. Kaliesha had emotional and behavioral problems that seemed to worsen with each passing month. “We had tried everything we could think of to help her, and nothing worked,” says Melody Harris, her mother. “The more we showed her we loved her, the harder she pushed us away.” “Like most parents with a child who is getting into trouble, not listening and hurting herself, I thought the problem was hers alone,” says Harris. “I thought that she just didn’t want to help herself. I was ready to give up.” Kaliesha was referred to Youth Villages for help with anti-social and oppositional behaviors, as well as aggression. Youth Villages Family Counselor Melissa Dietrick was assigned to her case. Dietrick was new to Youth Villages — it was her first case as a family counselor — and Youth Villages was relatively new to the state. Our organization had opened its first offices in North Carolina in 2005 as part of that state’s aggressive move toward reform of its youth services. Still,

Dietrick had the answer to this family’s question. Who could help Kaliesha? Who could offer her the best chance at a long-term solution to her problems? Her own parents. In their own home. With help from the Youth Villages Multisystemic Therapy (MST) program.

A Revolutionary Approach When Youth Villages began offering in-home services back in 1994, the idea that troubled children like Kaliesha could be helped most effectively in their own homes, by their own parents, was nothing short of revolutionary. At the time, most troubled children went away for help — to residential treatment facilities, foster care or psychiatric hospitals, usually spending long stretches of their childhoods away from their families. Youth Villages’ roots are in residential treatment; the organization actually was formed in the merger of two residential campuses in Memphis. But in the early 1990s, we began to do outcome research and found that while children could successfully overcome their challenges while in our programs,

most weren’t doing well once they went back home. Because no one had assisted their families or helped the children learn to counter peer and community influences, they usually drifted back into negative behavior patterns. We learned that putting counselors in the homes and communities would give children their best chance at long-lasting success. Out-of-home placements became a last resort. We made in-home services the center of our continuum of care, which also includes foster care and adoption, residential programs, crisis and transitional living services.

A Focus on Families Youth Villages adopted Multisystemic Therapy for our first in-home program. The family-based mental health treatment model was developed by Scott W. Henggeler, Ph.D., at the Family Services Research Center at the Medical University of South Carolina. MST has been validated as an effective treatment model for reducing anti-social behavior in 16 published outcome studies. The studies have documented long-term behavioral change. (Continued on page 4) YOUTH VILLAGES | PROGRAM REPORT



DEMONSTRATING SUCCESS then have helped more than 600 young people in the state. Eighty-five percent of the children helped by Youth Villages’ MST program in North Carolina have been discharged successfully to their families. Eighty-six percent are still living successfully at home 12 months following discharge.

A Family Finds an Answer

Kaliesha (left) with her mom, Melody Harris (right), and their counselor, Melissa Dietrick.

It has also been cited as effective by the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, U.S. Surgeon General, National Institutes of Health, National Mental Health Association, Blueprints for Violence Prevention and many other groups. MST is built on the principle and scientific evidence that a seriously troubled child’s behavioral problems are multidimensional and must be confronted using multiple strategies. The serious behavior problems of a child typically stem from a combination of influences, including family factors, deviant peers, problems in the school or community and individual characteristics. The MST model calls for simultaneously addressing all of those inter-related areas. Therapy is intensive and is conducted in the child’s home by a single counselor. The counselor typically works with the child and family over a three- to five-month period. As part of the process, the counselor works closely with teachers, neighbors, extended family

and even members of the child’s peer group and their parents. A counselor on the MST team is available to the family 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Youth Villages is a network partner of MST Services, committed to expanding the use of the model to help children and families across the country. We now offer MST in Dallas, Texas; Dothan, Alabama; Washington, D.C.; and throughout the state of North Carolina.

North Carolina Leads the Way North Carolina is building reform of its youth services around Multisystemic Therapy. The state was one of the first to gain approval from Medicaid to use federal funds to pay for MST. The Youth Villages MST program there is growing faster than any start-up in Youth Villages’ history. We began providing MST to children and families in North Carolina in January of 2006 and since

When Kaliesha and her family were referred to Youth Villages, her counselor knew what to do to help strengthen the family. But it’s always a little hard for families who have struggled for so long to understand that the power to change, the power to heal their families, is in their own hands. “When the counselor first came to my house and explained the MST program, I really didn’t have much hope,” Kaliesha’s mother says. “I was surprised when she said that my husband and I would have to make some changes. I couldn’t help thinking that we were not the ones with the problems.” “I spent time with the family so that they would know that they weren’t in this alone anymore,” Dietrick, Kaliesha’s counselor, says. She taught them communication skills, set up 24-hour supervision plans and helped them learn to ask for help from relatives. “Kaliesha saw that she wasn’t going to be sent away and that people were treating her with concern and less anger,” Dietrick says. “That made a difference.” Finally, everything clicked. “I have a new relationship with my daughter, my husband and my sons,” Harris says. “We have fun as a family. I think my kids actually like me and my husband! We still have some work to do, but I realize now that the problems that Kaliesha had weren’t hers alone.” “Youth Villages saved my family!” she says. We know that’s not really true. Kaliesha’s parents, Melody and Michael Harris, saved their family. For more information about MST, go to



Intercept: Helping Families Change Course As Youth Villages began expanding inhome services in the 1990s, it became apparent that a home- and family-based approach could help children with a wide range of emotional and behavioral problems, and their families. Youth Villages developed Intercept, our second in-home program, to serve a different population of children and families who struggle with a diverse array of emotional, behavioral and family problems. “We help families change course and learn new behavior patterns,” Lee Rone, chief operating officer, says. “Our counselors intercept the family, often at their lowest point, their time of greatest need.” Begun in Tennessee, Youth Villages now provides the Intercept program in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Massachusetts, Mississippi and Virginia. Intercept is based on the principles and practices of research-based treatment. The program specializes in successfully preparing children who have been in residential or foster care programs for reunification with their parents in the community. Counselors also work with families to prevent children who are at increased risk of removal from the home from going into foster or residential programs in the first place. Intercept provides help to troubled children and families in their own homes at times convenient to the family. Counselors with small case loads — four to five families — focus on helping the child and family at home, in school and in the community. The program serves children of any age (infant to 18) who have serious emotional and behavioral problems. Although random assignment clinical studies have not yet tested the effectiveness of the program, 14 years of data from ongoing outcome evaluation studies have demonstrated that 80 percent of youth are successful two years after discharge from the program.

Keeping Alex out of Foster Care


manda Healy had lost custody of her son, Alex, before, so she was wary of counselors and case workers. She wasn’t sure what to make of Jennifer Lewis, a family counselor with our Intercept in-home program, when Lewis first pulled up in the driveway of her rural home. The counselor’s first job was to convince Alex’s mother that she was there to help her keep custody of her son – not to take him away. Soon the two were working together to help Alex improve his behavior. Like so many children who have conditions on the autism spectrum, Alex is a puzzle. He can be shy and withdrawn – or verbally and physically aggressive. Because of problems at school, his mother has decided to home school Alex, but Lewis knew that home schooling can

add more conflict in the relationship between troubled children and their parents. Lewis supported Alex’s mother and helped her build a circle of family and friends to supervise her son. She worked with the mother on a behavioral plan that was consistent and had rewards that motivated Alex to change his behavior. “She has helped a great deal,” Healy says. “Alex’s problems have stabilized. She’s helping him come out of his shyness. It’s really hard for him to trust and socialize, but he looks forward to Jennifer’s visits.” After just a month of in-home treatment, tensions in the household have decreased. Lewis will work with the family for four to six months. After that, Healy will have the skills and tools she needs to better help Alex live successfully in the community.

Alex meets with Family Counselor Jennifer Lewis in a comfortable setting: his front porch.





Cara (middle) is happily reunited with her mother, Carol Fryer, and her sister, Chelsea (left), thanks to the help of Youth Villages Family Counselor Rebecca Manning (right).

The Youth Villages Intercept Program Restores, Strengthens a Loving Family


arol Fryer always put her daughters first. A single mother, she worked two jobs to provide for her two children, took them to church every Sunday and gave them all the love a mother can give. As far as she knew, she was doing everything right. But, her daughter, Cara, became involved in inappropriate behavior and ended up in state custody. Cara came to a Youth Villages group home for help; then she “stepped down” to a Youth Villages treatment foster home. As she progressed, Rebecca Manning, a Youth Villages family counselor with our Intercept in-home program, was assigned to help Fryer. Our Intercept program works with other Youth Villages programs to help



families like the Fryers reunite after their child completes out-of-home treatment. Manning met with Fryer around the busy mom’s work schedule, even on her school bus before her route began. Manning and Fryer set up a support system to ensure that her daughter would be closely supervised at all times. They established household rules for expected behaviors and a system of rewards and consequences to motivate Cara to follow the new rules. Manning continued to work with Cara and her mom, and she helped Cara become more assertive and to tell peers “no” when she needed to. Today, the family bond between Cara and her mom is stronger than ever. Fryer’s close ties to Cara’s school per-

mitted her to get teachers and security guards to supervise the girl more closely. Family members, Cara’s friends’ parents and fellow church members also agreed to support the mother when she had to be away for work. In April, Manning and the Fryer family held the last family session, but they have been staying in touch. “Mrs. Fryer called me the other day and left me a message just to let me know that Cara is still doing well,” Manning says. “That makes me feel good.”

Darren Returns Home From a Residential Campus


arren was never really a gang member. He was a wannabe. Still, he was involved in an escalating series of violent activities. Darren was in gang-related fights and witnessed gang violence. With emotional and behavioral problems that made him impulsive and reckless, Darren was heading full speed in the wrong direction. He was referred to a Youth Villages residential campus for help. After he completed that program, it was time for him to go home, to re-enter the neighborhood and community. Without intensive support after discharge, young people like Darren often quickly end up back in the child welfare, mental health or juvenile justice systems. To reduce those recidivism rates, Youth Villages uses our Intercept program to successfully reunite children

and young people who have received help on our residential campuses with their families. Alan Johnson, a family counselor, was assigned to help Darren come home. Johnson worked with Darren’s mother, Brenda Morris, and his extended family, meeting with them in their home. He helped Darren find a summer job working the counter at a neighborhood skating rink and made sure that Darren found positive peer influences and severed all ties to friends still associated with any gang. After six months of intensive work through Intercept, Darren was discharged successfully to his mother’s custody. He’s doing well in school and is keeping busy on the weekends working with his mom’s boyfriend on construction projects.

Darren and his mother, Brenda Morris, and their Family Counselor, Alan Johnson.

Hi-Tech Solutions Relieve Stress Brian Cheek had about had it. The family counselor loved helping children and families in West Tennessee, but the amount of paperwork on top of counseling sessions was making it hard to stay on the job. “I was doing most of the documentation late at night or on weekends,” he says. Recruiting and retaining counselors is crucial at Youth Villages. So when Cheek suggested that using voice recorders could help reduce stress, he got support. He was put in charge of the Voice Recorder (VR) program, setting out to prove that recorders, which convert spoken notes to text and then download it to our electronic recordkeeping system, would decrease the time counselors put into documentation, relieving stress. Cheek tested the technology with 13 counselors and then 60. The recorders were successful in each test and increased job satisfaction and retention. “This project has changed my perception of my job, and I’m so much happier,” says Melissa Fowler, a senior counselor. Cheek has been promoted to clinical applications manager. “It’s exciting to work for an organization that is open to finding new approaches,” he says. “After we complete the voice recorder rollout, I’d like to be able to work on other things, too, with the goal of making counselors’ jobs easier, giving them more time to help children and families.”





Fourteen Years of Outcome Data Demonstrate In-Home Effectiveness


ince 1994, Youth Villages has helped nearly 15,000 children in their homes and communities through our Intensive In-Home Services programs. When the programs began, Youth Villages opened a research unit that has grown to 16 full- and part-time employees. Research specialists track virtually every child who leaves Youth Villages’ programs at 6, 12 and 24 months after discharge. Youth Villages now has more than 14 years of data on long-term outcomes of children who have received behavioral health services. We use this information to continually improve our programs and to contribute to the knowledge base in the areas of child welfare and children’s mental health. Between October 1994 and June 2008, our in-home counselors reached out to 14,545 children and families. We’ve grown from helping just 50 children and families annually through in-home services to helping 3,534 in 2008. Overall, data shows that 82% of the children served through the Youth Villages in-home programs are able to

remain in their homes. Eighty-three percent were still living successfully at home two years after discharge.

Pilot Projects Youth Villages also participates in pilot projects to further demonstrate the effectiveness of in-home services. This year, Youth Villages was involved in two important studies: one in Tennessee and one in Mississippi. Tennessee Intercept Pilot Project: Since January 2006, Youth Villages has partnered with the Department of Children’s Services to provide intensive in-home services to children and youth who would not otherwise qualify for the treatment. Many of the youth are returning home from detention centers. Others are at increased risk of being taken into state custody. Eightyone percent of the children helped in this project remained in their homes at discharge. Only 12 percent were in out-of-home placements at 12-month follow-up.

MYPAC – (Mississippi Youth Programs Around the Clock) – The state of Mississippi received a $49 million grant from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to fund this five-year project, which tests whether children who would have been placed in residential treatment facilities can be helped as effectively through intensive wraparound home- and community-based services. Youth Villages is one of two providers participating in the project. It has the potential to help overcome a barrier to more widespread adoption of in-home services: restrictions on how states can spend federal dollars. Until recently, regulations have allowed those dollars to be used only for costly, less effective residential or foster care. “Mississippi is working to become a national model for how Medicaid dollars should be invested,” says Lee Rone, Youth Villages chief operating officer. “The program gives providers and families a tremendous amount of flexibility while providing a wide range of services to children and families.”

In-Home Services Success at Follow-up Follow-ups conducted through June 2008


Presenting Issues

Discharge Location

Clients served through June 2008

Clients discharged October 1994 through June 2008 N = 12,816

Six Months


Behavioral Disorders

Twelve Months


Substance Abuse

Twenty-four Months


Emotional Disorders

91% 33% 73%

Success is defined as living at home or in a home-like environment.

Victim of Abuse and/or Neglect


Response Rates: Six Months – 69.9% (7,222 out of 10,327) Twelve Months – 62.2% (5,670 out of 9,111) Twenty-four Months – 51.1% (3,708 out of 7,262)

Suicidal Ideations or Gestures



More than 85% of clients have multiple presenting issues.



Residential Treatment Center


Psychiatric Hospital


Detention/ Corrections Other*

3% 8%

*Includes placements such as group homes, foster care and rehab centers, as well as runaways.

Mandy is doing well at home and at school thanks to the Youth Villages Intercept program. She was referred to the intensive in-home program after evaluation by our Specialized Crisis Services.

SCS Brings Change to Tennessee Crisis Care


utsiders never would have suspected that Mandy, 7, such a beautiful child, had such big problems. At home, the little girl struck out angrily, raging for hours and becoming aggressive — biting and hitting. Finally, two weeks before Christmas, she ended up in an emergency room. When children experience psychiatric emergencies in Tennessee, calls go to Youth Villages. Since 2003, our Specialized Crisis Services (SCS) has been the state’s crisis program for children under age 18. Youth Villages brought its family treatment approach to the new program, emphasizing helping children safely in the home and diverting them from hospitalization when appropriate. “It was a shift in thinking,” says Caroline Hannah, the program’s first director, now a regional director. “We be-

lieve that when possible, children need to stay in their own homes.” Since June 2003, SCS counselors have fielded 44,698 telephone calls and conducted face-to-face evaluations of 32,474 children. The program has referred children to help in their homes and communities, and when appropriate, diverted about 70 percent of children from psychiatric hospitalization. Since the program began, Tennessee closed two of its inpatient acute units for children and youth, channeling funds to effective community-based programs. The detailed tracking and data collection provided by SCS allowed state officials to strengthen crisis prevention programs where needed. The Youth Villages program has become a model for states looking to change how they handle crisis interventions for children. It has been bench-

marked by Nebraska, Georgia, North Carolina and Florida. After SCS assessed Mandy, she was referred to our Intercept, in-home program. “She didn’t want to go to school and was literally fighting her mother every morning. Now, she’s had a tremendous turnaround,” Counselor Gretchen Dorman says. “Gretchen met with us four times a week at first,” Mandy’s mother says. “She provided good insight and gave me the tools to help Mandy.” “Mandy is doing well now. There have been times when she tries to push it,” her mother adds. “But sometimes, all I have to do is point to the rules and consequences poster board that we made with Gretchen and remind her. If I can do it, anyone can. Youth Villages is your answer!”



Foster Care


Since aging out of foster care, Otis has been leaning on Transitional Living Counselor Tommy Sheppard to help him make the right choices as he establishes himself as an independent adult. Sheppard has taken Otis to visit local colleges, apply for financial aid, enroll in cosmetology school, get his driver license, find safer, affordable housing and more.



A New View for Foster Children Youth Villages is developing services that are changing the lives of current and former foster children. Our Transitional Living program, founded by The Day Foundation, is becoming a model for reform nationwide.


hat does it mean to grow up in the foster care system? Let Otis tell you. “I came into foster care when I was born,” he says. “My mom gave me up. She is a drug addict.” Otis spent his entire life in foster care, sometimes living with his three siblings. As a young teen, he ran away once to find his mother in Missouri. “She didn’t know that I was her son. She was drunk,” he says. Otis made it on his own for a few months before turning himself in at a police station. He came back to the only home he’d ever known: the child welfare system. He was almost adopted once, but that fell through. A few weeks before he was to turn 18, Otis sat down with his Department of Children’s Services case manager to go over his options. One of his options was the Youth Villages Transitional Living program created in 1999 to help young adults like Otis who had grown up in the system. The program, founded with start-up funding by Memphis philanthropist Clarence Day of The Day Foundation, offers crucial support to young people aging out of foster care and state custody in Tennessee.

Studies show that without this support, young people who leave foster care are more likely to become homeless and unemployed, have trouble with the law and achieve lower levels of education. In the nine years that Youth Villages has provided Transitional Living services, we have helped more than 1,800 young people. Two years after leaving the program, 87 percent of TL participants are living independently, 75 percent report no trouble with law en-

forcement and 79 percent are in school, have graduated or are employed. Otis was one of 800 young people helped by the Transitional Living program in fiscal year 2008. Counselor Tommy Sheppard helped Otis find housing, get a first job, enroll in school and apply for financial aid. “My role is like being a coach for a sports team,” Sheppard says. “I’m helping Otis learn the skills he needs to play the game well – in this case, the game is life.”

Transitional Living helped Otis move closer to achieving an important career goal – attending cosmetology school.



Foster Care


Foster Family Makes Lifelong Commitment to Five Brothers


ammy and Larry Thompson had fostered several children, but they had never seen a child like Joseph. At 5, the little redheaded boy was so neglected and malnourished, he looked and acted like a 2-year-old. He had not been potty-trained, frequently broke into terrible temper tantrums and although he could not speak a single sentence, would curse up a storm. The Thompsons became Youth Villages foster parents five years ago after their daughters, Rebecca, now 25, and Allison, now 21, were nearly grown. They soon met Joseph’s birth parents, a young couple with few parenting skills and their three additional children. The two families spoke regularly, and the Thompsons helped the young couple with parenting tips and visits with Joseph to facilitate family reunification. But when the three younger boys came into state custody as well, the Thompsons didn’t have to think about taking them in. “We fell in love with them,” Mrs. Thompson says. Joseph’s biological mom had a fifth child before the couple split up for good. To keep custody of her youngest child, she moved into a shelter with her son. But a few weeks later, she made the hardest decision of her life: she gave up her baby and surrendered parental rights, along with the father. The baby joined his siblings at the Thompsons’ home. “We got this huge home and big, ol’ hearts for these kids,” Mrs. Thompson says. Of all the children, Joseph showed the greatest developmental delays and needed the most help. But he has made huge strides since. He has just entered kindergarten and is doing well with speech therapy and counseling.



Tammy and Larry Thompson and their daughters, Allison (left) and Rebecca (right), pose with the five foster sons they adopted in July: Joseph, 6, (left), Jimmy, 5, Bron, 4, Gerald, 2, and Gabriel, 17 months.

“He used to not be able to speak without pitching a fit,” Mrs. Thompson says. “Now he speaks, knows his colors, his ABCs and can count to 100. He has grown so much. I am so proud of him.” While Youth Villages’ primary goal is to keep families together or to reunify them, we realize that this is not always possible. For children like Joseph and his brothers, adoption by someone they trusted and loved was crucial. This year, Youth Villages helped 67 children find adoptive homes. About

60 percent, like the Thompson boys, were adopted by their Youth Villages foster parents. “You don’t know when you’ll get your blessings,” Mrs. Thompson says. “We are very proud of our daughters, but Larry always wanted a boy, and I had always dreamed of a large family. God waited until now to bless Larry with boys and me with a large family.”

A One-of-a-Kind Child Finds Success in an Amazing Family Christopher looks like any other little boy, running with his foster brother from the school bus on a beeline to the play area by their house on a sunny spring day. But he isn’t. Christopher was born with Nonketotic Hyperglycinemia (NKH), a rare metabolic disorder that causes varying degrees of mental retardation and is often fatal. Due to the lack of early treatment in Chris’ case, doctors predicted that he wouldn’t live much past his fourth birthday. Complicating matters, Chris is autistic, does not speak and has a sensory disorder that compels him to chew on objects. His mother had struggled to care for Christopher on her own but couldn’t continue. She was afraid he would have to go to an institution. Instead, Christopher was referred to the Youth Villages Foster Care Program and foster parents Linda and Andy Dillard. Mrs. Dillard, her twin sister, Donna Goad, both nurses, and their mother have cared for medically fragile and terminally ill children many times in more than 30 years of foster parenting. “Christopher is the most challenging child we have helped in all those years,” Mrs. Dillard says. “But he’s come so far. It’s very rewarding to be able to help a child who has such great need.” Progress for Christopher has come in little steps. He’s beginning to learn sign language and can sign “more” and “eat.” He is reaching out emotionally, even giving hugs now. Christopher recently celebrated his 8th birthday. “You want every day to count with children like Christopher,” Mrs. Dillard says. “He deserves more hugs and every bit of hope and joy that can be created for him.”



Foster Care


The Nelsons have helped many foster children reunite with their parents. After fostering Shawntez, they adopted him.

Foster Parents Help Reunite Children With Their Family, Adopt Another


odie and Alice Nelson raised four children of their own and then turned their empty nest into a haven for Youth Villages foster children. When the call came that three little children were in need of help, the Nelsons opened their hearts. The children, ages 2, 3 and 5, were in rough shape. “You could tell that they hadn’t had any structure in their lives,” Mrs. Nelson, a school crossing guard, says of the children who came to call her “granny.” The Nelsons nurtured the children and helped them learn the simple routines of family life. Most importantly, they kept a lifeline open to their birth family. Their father stepped up to help his children. “He started out calling them every week and then going on outings,” Mrs. Nelson says. “I’d give him updates on everything the children were doing, info on school, how they were at home.” Mrs. Nelson became the father’s advocate and adviser. “I talked to him about things he needed to do, and he followed through,” she says. Youth Villages offers foster care in Tennessee, Mississippi and Alabama.



In Tennessee, children who come into the system should be on a track to permanency within 18 months, and the state – with our help – is making providers more accountable. The state began performance-based contracting in 2006, offering financial incentives to agencies that reduce a child’s average length of stay in care and decrease the number of children who boomerang right back to the system. Under this new type of contract, Youth Villages saved children almost 10,000 days in the foster care system, while helping 22 percent more children find permanent homes. “From day one, we’re working to get these children home,” says Michelle Childs, a clinical consultant in foster care. “Sometimes, neglect occurs because of poverty or the parent just doesn’t know how best to care for a child. Often, we can provide the parental support or education so that the child can return.” The three children the Nelsons lovingly cared for were finally reunited with their father. But the strong bond between the children and their foster

parents persists. The children visit during the year and for the holidays. The Nelsons have fostered seven children in all, including a couple of teenagers. They also helped raise a grandson who died in a car accident at age 17. Shawntez, a quiet teen, was the last foster child in their home after their grandson’s death. They bonded as a family when Shawntez began having trouble in school, and Mrs. Nelson realized that something wasn’t right. Shawntez, it turned out, was being teased for being a foster child and for being slow in school. His quiet nature had caused significant learning deficiencies to go unnoticed. Switching to an alternative school helped Shawntez do better overall. Mrs. Nelson’s involvement with the teen’s educational needs also helped. “Shawntez began to trust that I would help him.” Mrs. Nelson says. He also began to trust that he was becoming part of a new family. The Nelsons adopted Shawntez, who could not return to his birth family. The Nelsons plan on fostering more children soon.

Mentors Bring Hope, Stability to Foster Kids


or 40 years, Norma Simon spent her days working in accounting. After retirement, she looked for a new, meaningful way to spend her time. She became a mentor to 10-year-old Dominique, a Tennessee foster child. Studies show that children with a mentor or other positive adult in their lives are less likely to use alcohol or drugs, or drop out of school, and they even enjoy improved relationships with their own families. In 2007, Youth Villages partnered with Tennessee Governor Phil Bredesen, the Tennessee Department of Children’s Services and the state’s Children’s Cabinet to create the Governor’s Mentoring Initiative, which strives to provide foster children with adult mentors who can be a stable, positive influence. During the initiative’s first year, 300 mentors were matched with children like Dominique all over the state. Youth Villages also provides mentors to children in our residential programs through the Chris Crye Mentor Program. Simon and Dominique met for the first time at an ice cream parlor, accompanied by a Youth Villages mentor liaison. The two got along great and have been meeting for outings to the zoo, the mall, a museum or the movies for an afternoon every other weekend since. “It’s very rewarding, but you have to be committed,” Simon says. “They need continuity – when they go from place to place, they still need that steady person there. She has asked me many times whether I would still be there if she moved to a different foster home.” Simon will continue to be there for Dominique. But she knows the little girl needs so much more. “I say prayers every night that someone will adopt her,” Simon says.

Dominique, 10, a child in foster care, enjoys spending time with her mentor, Norma Simon.





Jessica formed a close bond with her Youth Villages teacher and counselor, Larry Schroer. She credits him for helping her work through issues by talking to her and for making her laugh during those times when she felt like crying.



Stepping Toward Home At Youth Villages, residential treatment is part of a continuum of programs that creates a pathway to success for children with serious emotional and behavioral problems.


t was late on a Friday afternoon on the Youth Villages Bartlett Campus when Jessica was tracking down her favorite teacher. She was about to leave campus for a visit to a potential adoptive home. She wanted to say goodbye — and thank you. “He’s helped me so much, just by talking to me,” Jessica says about Larry Schroer, special education coordinator. “He gives me advice that I need. He’s always able to get me into a happy mood.” Life hasn’t been happy for Jessica, who will turn 18 in January. Removed from her home due to abuse at age 7, she’s lived in 39 different places – foster homes, residential centers, even an adoptive home that did not work out. Like many long-term foster children, she developed serious emotional and behavioral problems from the trauma of abuse and the constant stress and insecurities that come from growing up in the system. She eventually came to Youth Villages for help.

A Change in Trajectory Schroer and the other counselors and teachers on the residential campus

have been working to get Jessica’s life on a new trajectory. At Youth Villages, residential care is part of a continuum of programs, allowing staff the flexibility to help children in the most effective way. The programs provide a pathway to success for children with serious, even severe, problems, allowing them to step down from residential campuses to group homes, therapeutic foster or adoptive homes – or back into their own homes with Intensive In-Home Services. The flexibility also means that a setback – a step up to more restrictive care for a brief period – doesn’t derail a child’s overall progress. Today, Jessica wants nothing more than to step toward success, which for her means either finding a family who will love and adopt her or making the move to independent adulthood with the support of the Youth Villages Transitional Living program. Jessica is one of 812 young people who received help in Youth Villages’ residential programs during fiscal year 2007-2008. The program includes three open campuses, an intensive residential center and seven group homes. On the Bartlett Campus, construction (Continued on page 18)





Taryn Dobson, a counselor at a Youth Villages group home, talks with a teenager about his progress at Youth Villages and future career possibilities.

crews are at work on a center that will allow Youth Villages to help more girls beginning in 2009.

Healing Relationships Soon after Youth Villages was founded in 1986, the organization adopted Re-ED, the Re-Education of Emotionally Troubled Children, a researchbased philosophy developed by Nicholas Hobbs at Vanderbilt University in the 1960s, as our guiding treatment philosophy. Although staff use specific research-based therapies to meet the needs of individual children, Re-ED is the basic philosophical underpinning



for what goes on in every Youth Villages program. It is based on the idea that change is possible for every child and family, no matter the challenges. In Re-ED, counselors and teachers are charged with developing strong relationships with each child so that they can discover the child’s individual strengths and use them as levers for change. Still, philosophies and good counseling techniques alone don’t heal troubled children. Every Youth Villages employee pledges to do whatever it takes to help each child and family find success. Failure is not an option. We understand that for most children with serious emotional and behavioral

problems, the road to success is rocky; there are ups and downs, triumphs and setbacks. Staff are patient and determined. Youth Villages does not give up on a child.

Mentors Bring Change Relationships with counselors, teachers and staff are crucial to healing, but for some children, a mentor – a caring adult volunteer from the community – sparks change. Children on our residential campuses in Tennessee are assigned to mentors through several different programs, including the Chris (Continued on page 20)

Christopher’s group home counselors encouraged him to delve further into writing to help him process his feelings. One of his poems was published on a poetry website. YOUTH VILLAGES | PROGRAM REPORT




Girls Center Brings Help, Hope in 2009 One of Youth Villages’ core values is to create new programs to meet the changing needs of children and families. Last year, Youth Villages began construction on the Girls Center for Intensive Residential Treatment to help fill a national gap in services for girls. “There are so many girls in the country who do not have an adequate place to get help for the many specific, difficult problems that they have,” says Patrick W. Lawler, Youth Villages chief executive officer. “We want to provide these girls with the best care and help possible in a place designed specifically for them.” The $10.7 million, 56,000-square-foot center under construction now will allow Youth Villages to help an additional 200 girls each year. “This center will place Youth Villages on the cutting edge of treatment for seriously troubled girls,” says Jody Paine, residential director. “Most treatment for girls exactly duplicates services for boys. I think we’ve learned through research and our own experience that girls need different approaches to treatment and therapy.” “Girls display their emotions much more than boys. They experience trauma in different ways,” says Rebecca Holbrook, who will lead the new center. “We will be using research-based treatment techniques to help them overcome past experiences and go on to lead healthy and more productive lives.”

Crye Mentor Program and the Governor’s Mentoring Initiative. The mentor who made a difference for 15-year-old Christopher came through the FedEx Career Prep program, which matches young people at Youth Villages with employees at FedEx who volunteer to spend time with them and teach them important job skills.

Discovering Strengths Christopher came to our Poplar Group Home in need of help with emotional and behavioral problems, complicated by substance abuse. When he first arrived at the group home in Midtown Memphis, he was angry and aggressive. As counselors got to know him better, they discovered that one of Christopher’s strengths was writing. They encouraged him to submit a poem to a contest, and it was accepted for publication. At the campus school, Christopher participated in the Freedom Writers project, learning to journal about his feelings and challenges. His behavior improved, and he was chosen to participate in the FedEx Career Prep program, where he blossomed. “Christopher wanted his FedEx mentor to see how well he could do,” says Francis Anable-Agunenye, assistant director for group homes. “It’s second nature for a child to want to excel. We simply helped bring out the best in him. That’s the essence of what Youth Villages does best.”

Making School a Positive Experience Helping children achieve success at school is a key component of the Youth Villages residential program. Most of the children who come to Youth Villages have known only repeated failure, and often humiliation, in the classroom. Our schools help younger children learn skills that will benefit them when they return to their home schools. Many of the older children have fallen years behind in school as a



result of childhood trauma and being moved between foster homes and treatment programs. Preparing them to pass the General Education Development (GED) test is a major focus. “Our staff is passionate about the kids,” says Anne Coggin, director of education. “It’s the culture that has been built here over more than 20 years. Our staff look at each child with fresh eyes and see the possibilities – not just the diagnoses in the charts. It’s amazing how often they find something about a child that has been overlooked by others.” Teachers use field trips, off-campus activities and hands-on projects to show children that learning – and school – can be fun. This year, students have participated in teambuilding activities at other nonprofits, volunteered to feed the homeless at a downtown Memphis church, washed dogs at the humane society and delivered meals to shut-in elders. The children also learned more about life on another continent by becoming pen pals with children from Uganda. The educational environment at the campus schools was enhanced this year by a $3.2 million grant from Microsoft. The Unlimited Potential - Community Technology Skills Grant funded computer labs at our three residential campus schools. The labs, equipped with new computers and Microsoft educational software, allow Youth Villages students to gain fundamental computer skills and to participate in interactive learning programs.

Involving Families Gage used the new computers in the Bartlett Campus Microsoft Technology Lab to work on a resume with his FedEx Career Prep mentor and to study for his GED. He came to Youth Villages after a chaotic childhood and bouncing between the homes of his parents and grandparents in different states. Family sessions have been important for Gage as he prepares to go home

Gage (left) and his FedEx Career Prep Mentor, Michael Anderson, use the new Microsoft Technology Lab on the Youth Villages Bartlett Campus to build a resume for Gage to use once he returns home from the Youth Villages residential program.

with his father and stepmom. Youth Villages believes that family is the key to continued success for a child after he or she completes the residential program. If possible, counselors begin working with the family in their home as soon as a child is admitted to a residential program. “We help families stay involved with their kids,” Residential Director Jody Paine says. “When necessary, we provide bus or airplane tickets, food, gas, hotels. We run shuttles every week, so children can go home in the tri-state area geographically adjacent to the campuses. We want to make sure that our kids get home, so that they have the opportunities to practice the skills they are learn-

ing to overcome negative behaviors back in their normal environment.”

Finding Better Futures Eleven kids – including Christopher and Jessica – are on the shuttle this afternoon. Schroer, Jessica’s favorite teacher, helps her stow her luggage on the van and gives her a hug. He’s convinced that she’ll be successful as an adult – even if she has to go it alone. “I don’t think she’ll have any problem getting her GED and going on to college,” he says. “It would be wonderful if she found the right family, but our Transitional Living program will be there to help her if not. She’s going

to make it.” For our residential staff, each departure, each “step down,” is a triumph that brings a new challenge. For every child who goes home, there is another coming to Youth Villages for help. “We don’t usually see the end result, the final success. As a child starts to progress, we step him or her down … and another child takes that place,” says Paine. “For each new child who arrives, our staff step up to find ways to make a difference, the things that will put that child on a personal path to success.”





Internships at Youth Villages Allow Students to Experience Real-Life Counseling Work

Intern Jonathan Larson (right), a student at Yale University, works with Richie, a resident on the Youth Villages Bartlett Campus.


pending the summer break with emotionally troubled children may not be the average college student’s choice for summer fun. But for Jonathan Larson, a student at Yale University, it was not only fun, it was exciting as well. “In class, you learn about the ideal situations and how therapies are supposed to work,” the psychology major says. “Here, you see therapies in action. It’s exciting to learn how to talk to the kids, and they’re a lot of fun to be with.” For more than 10 years, Youth Villages has offered summer internships to college students who are in their ju-



nior or senior years and at least 21 years of age. Interns get the chance to work directly with children alongside Youth Villages staff in a variety of the organization’s programs. Most interns experience working with troubled youth on one of three residential campuses, but others also work in intensive in-home services, the Youth Villages crisis program, foster care or one of the organization’s group homes. As an intern on a residential campus, Larson worked in a cottage — a house with several bedrooms, a living room, kitchen, laundry facility, showers, a patio and one or two offices for the counselors

— with eight boys between the ages of 13 and 14. The boys in his cottage have low IQs and behavioral problems, including verbal and physical aggression. “You get to work directly with the kids and live with them, and see how they really are through an entire day,” Larson says. “If you just meet them for counseling for an hour, you just don’t get to see that. Here, you see them interact with their peers. It’s awesome.” Many interns step right into careers at Youth Villages; we typically hire 50 percent of our interns. Many of them have gone on to leadership positions in the organization.

Carl Barton (left), a small business owner, became a mentor to Chris, a young man at a Youth Villages group home. Barton took Chris on outings to the movies, the park and more. Their relationship helped bring joy to Chris’ life and encouraged him to achieve his life goals.

Mentors Offer Support Carl Barton, a small business owner, always enjoyed volunteering with youth but wanted to do more. He signed up to become a Youth Villages Chris Crye mentor. The mentor program, named in honor of Chris Crye, a dedicated mentor whose life was cut short due to a horseback-riding accident, was begun more than a decade

ago to provide Youth Villages children with caring adult mentors. The program is supported through donations from Crye-Leike, Realtors. Barton was matched with Chris, 13. Going on outings, Chris and Barton soon got to know and appreciate each other. Their blossoming relationship also helped Chris make advancements in his therapy, and he

eventually moved back to his family. “I am a strong believer in Christ, that much has been given and that you are supposed to invest in people,” Barton says. “This is a good avenue to do it in.” Youth Villages also partners with the Tennessee Department of Children’s Services to provide mentors to foster children through the Governor’s Mentoring Initiative.





The Massachusetts-based GreenLight Fund recently hosted a gala to introduce Youth Villages as one of its sponsored organizations. The foundation is helping bring Transitional Living services to Boston. (Left to Right) Margaret Hall, GreenLight executive director and co-founder; Matt Stone, Youth Villages Mass. state manager; Otis Marshall, a Tenn. Transitional Living participant; Patrick W. Lawler, Youth Villages CEO; and Tommy Sheppard, Otis’ Transitional Living counselor.

Increasing Our Impact Partnerships with Foundations Allow Youth Villages To Expand Programs, Aid Reform in Massachusetts “We need them here.” That’s what Joanna Jacobson thought when she first heard about Youth Villages in 2005. Jacobson is the managing director of Boston-based Strategic Grant Partners, a coalition of family



foundations that focuses on strategic and venture philanthropy in the areas of education, high-risk youth, child welfare and family self-sufficiency. She had been working with Massachusetts leaders on youth services re-

form efforts. The commonwealth has a large number of children in out-ofhome placements, and the reform effort called for helping 15 percent of them transition back to their homes and communities. Jacobson started looking for a

program that would help Massachusetts’ children “step down” from residential care to their families and found Youth Villages through the Edna McConnell Clark Foundation (EMCF). To help bring our Intercept in-home program to Massachusetts, Strategic Grant Partners gave Youth Villages a $266,000 grant to pay for start-up costs. “Joanna laid the groundwork for us,” says Patrick W. Lawler, chief executive officer of Youth Villages. “She introduced us to the right people, helped us work through the bureaucracy. She is a strong advocate for us.” Strategic Grant Partners is spurring the growth of our program through a second grant of $1.3 million to allow expansion to more areas of Massachusetts. Jacobson recently joined the Youth Villages Board of Directors. The support from Strategic Grant Partners allowed Youth Villages to be in a position to work with another Boston foundation. The GreenLight Fund had been searching for an agency that could help former foster children live independently. The mission of the foundation is to identify innovative and results-oriented nonprofits from around the country and bring their programs to Boston. Green-

Light has pledged $800,000 over four years to establish the Transitional Living program there. “We were so impressed with what Youth Villages was doing with this group of young people in Tennessee,” says Margaret Hall, GreenLight executive director. The program was begun in 1999 and sustained in Tennessee primarily through funding from philanthropist Clarence Day and The Day Foundation. Hall says that 600 to 700 young people age out of foster care in Massachusetts each year. “Youth Villages will be helping some of our hardest-to-reach kids,” Hall says. “Our hope is that the organization can do what it has done in other places – achieve high success rates with young people who generally aren’t successful.” Lawler says the support of the foundations in Massachusetts has been critical and may serve as a model of what can be done elsewhere. “It is very difficult to bring services to new states, even when the programs are desperately needed and reform is beginning,” he says. “Start-up support from foundations gives us the opportunity to prove to that state that we are able to help its young people with significant challenges survive and succeed in their communities.”

Joanna Jacobson, managing director of Strategic Grant Partners with GreenLight’s John Simon.

EMCF and Co-Investors Pilot Innovation in Supporting Growth The Edna McConnell Clark Foundation has been a significant supporter of Youth Villages since 2005, driving our growth through innovative funding initiatives. Youth Villages was first selected by EMCF to receive support for a comprehensive new business plan developed with the Bridgespan Group. Youth Villages later received a second grant from EMCF for $6 million to help us begin to implement the plan by enhancing our operational and capacity-building strength. This year, Youth Villages became a part of EMCF’s Growth Capital Aggregation Pilot, an initiative designed to help three of the foundation’s grantees – Youth Villages, Citizen Schools and Nurse-Family Partnership – raise the capital that will allow the organizations to grow to help more children and youth, and bring reform to more states. The project allows funders to combine their resources to increase our impact on solving some of the country’s most intractable social problems and paves the way for additional investment and support from private and public funding for our long-term sustainability. The pilot project recently met its goal, with Youth Villages securing $40 million in pledges for growth capital. This funding will allow us to increase our overall capacity and enable us to leverage $125 million in future public and private funds so that we can serve 50 percent more young people over the next five years and quadruple the number of youth served outside the state of Tennessee. Along with EMCF, co-investors in the Youth Villages pilot project include: • Mike Bruns • The Day Foundation • FedEx Corporation • The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation • The Jenesis Group • The Kresge Foundation • Strategic Grant Partners • Youth Villages Board of Directors YOUTH VILLAGES | PROGRAM REPORT





Jimmy Lackie Capital Campaign Chairman

When and how did you first become involved with Youth Villages? I joined the Youth Villages Board of Directors in 2005. I felt it would be an honor to be associated with an organization that truly exemplifies the very best of our community. In addition, Youth Villages displays many of the same business principles that I look for when investing in for-profit ventures, which include strong leadership, performance, measurement and accountability. Although margins are thin, they have an economic model where revenues do exceed expenses. In my opinion, Patrick Lawler, the CEO of Youth Villages, is one of the most effective leaders I have ever encountered in any field.

Why did you choose to serve as campaign chairman for two large capital campaigns? One of the biggest challenges that face nonprofits is the ability to generate adequate capital to expand their services and “do more mission.” Unlike typical capital markets in the for-profit world, there is no system to capitalize the most effective nonprofit programs and help them grow to scale, as well as position them for long-term stability. To that end, with my contacts within a small group of leading foundations and highly philanthropic individuals from across the country, I felt I could help make a difference by raising resources for this unique organization. It is gratifying to share the Youth Villages story with individuals who have the heart and the resources to appreciate the unique opportunity to make a difference in the lives of troubled children and families throughout America.

What sets Youth Villages apart from other nonprofits? Youth Villages is one of the largest provid-



ers of research-based services for troubled children and families, with a long-term success rate of 80 percent. Studies have shown that most child-welfare programs have a success rate around 50 percent, and very few measure long-term outcomes. Secondly, Youth Villages is one of only 10 human-service organizations in the United States to achieve more than $50 million in annual revenue. Youth Villages has grown from a $6 million organization in 1991 to a $100 million organization in 2008.

What impact do you think the two capital campaigns will have on Youth Villages over the next five to 10 years? Youth Villages continues to blossom into one of the country’s finest and most effective nonprofit organizations that primarily serves young people who may have been neglected, abused and are without the basic tools to succeed and lead productive lives. I was privileged to serve as chair during two successful capital campaigns, which will help Youth Villages expand its unique programs across the country to address the urgent and unmet needs of low-income youth in our nation.

What made you want to help and advocate for the children of Youth Villages? Through the opportunities afforded me during the early stages of my career and the counsel and support of individuals for whom I hold the utmost regard, my life and my family’s financial outlook were forever changed. I feel it is a duty and an honor to use my volunteer leadership to help create positive outcomes for children who, in many cases, have never been given a chance to enjoy the wonderful rewards that our country affords those who seek them.

Jimmy Lackie is CEO of Rhyton Capital Management, LLC and a member of the Youth Villages Board of Directors. He has led two successful capital campaigns for Youth Villages.

What does a potential supporter of Youth Villages need to know? In considering support of Youth Villages, people need to decide if they want to be part of an organization that truly exemplifies the very best of our community. They need to understand why Youth Villages was selected by the prestigious Edna McConnell Clark Foundation, a leading national youth development foundation headquartered in New York City, and how the foundation will help take Youth Villages from being a large regional organization to becoming a national institution. This investment is an incredible testimony to the high level of program effectiveness, accountability and commitment to the mission that Youth Villages has developed over the past two decades. Finally, I would highly encourage a visit to a Youth Villages campus. Talking with and meeting some of the children would certainly reinforce a person’s or company’s decision to support Youth Villages.

Kemmons Wilson Family Foundation Connects with Youth Villages


s a family counselor with our inhome program Intercept, Lauren Young went into some of the toughest neighborhoods in Memphis, fighting to help parents maintain custody of children or to reunite families with children who had been in foster care or residential treatment. None of the children and families ever knew that the 25-year-old counselor who listened to their deepest problems, picked up their children from school and visited doctors and school meetings was a member of one of the city’s most well-known families. Today, Lauren Wilson Young, the granddaughter of Kemmons Wilson, founder of the Holiday Inn chain of hotels, is executive director of the Kemmons Wilson Family Foundation. Although the Wilson family has always been a philanthropic force in Memphis, the foundation was enlarged and became more focused after the patriarch’s death in 2003. The Wilsons’ personal connection with Youth Villages was strengthened by Young’s stint as a counselor, but it began with her father, Spence Wilson, a member of the Youth Villages Board of Directors for many years. He was one of the organization’s earliest supporters, leading our first capital campaign, which raised money for an administrative building, new cottages and the school that bears his name on our Dogwood Campus. “We are committed to Youth Villages,” Young says. The foundation’s latest gift was $250,000 to a Youth Villages capital campaign for the Kemmons Wilson Family Foundation Training Room in our Operations Center. It is the room where most new employees get their first introduction to Youth Villages and begin to learn researchbased practices to help children and

Lauren Young and her father, Spence Wilson, pose near portraits of his parents, Kemmons and Dorothy Wilson. Kemmons Wilson founded the Holiday Inn chain of hotels.

families overcome emotional and behavioral problems. Almost 10 years after she left life as a counselor, Young still keeps in close touch with one of the families she helped – and remembers them all. Working with them in the community helped her understand some of the ways that the

Kemmons Wilson Family Foundation can bring positive change to Memphis. “My time at Youth Villages really opened my eyes to the myriad of problems families in Memphis face,” Young says. “It helped me understand why the problems exist and how to approach solving them in measurable steps.”





Corporate Partners Support Youth Villages Children

The Bartlett Chamber of Commerce

C.H. Robinson Worldwide

Lynda Drake with Crye-Leike, Realtors and Amit and Namita Gupta of Hallmark on Germantown Pkwy.

Corporate Partners have built long-term relationships with Youth Villages, supporting our work by providing donations and time through volunteer projects. Their employees volunteer, mentor and participate in activities that directly benefit the children of Youth Villages. Corporate Partners for 2008 include: Abbey and Assoc. Realty ACH Food Companies Academy Sports Adventure Science Center ALCOA/Dixie Wire Alive Hospice American Standard AmeriCHOICE Annali Interiors Apple Spice Junction Armstrong Relocation Ascension Health Services AT&T Athens Distributing AutoZone BancorpSouth Bank of America Bank of Bartlett Bartlett Area Chamber of Commerce BellSouth Best Buy Blockbuster Boyle Investment Co. Burks Beverages CB Richard Ellis C.H. Robinson Worldwide Capitol Consultants, Inc. Cassidy Fine Foods Cato’s Carrier Corporation Centennial Sportsplex Centex Homes Chile Burrito Company CiCi’s Pizza CitiFinancial Clarcor Clark & Clark


Clearview Financial Group Compassionate Friends Comtrak Logistics Contract Properties Cookeville Honda Cornerstone Systems Country Inn & Suites Cracker Barrel Crye-Leike, Inc. Realtors Curves Dan McGuinness Pub Dell Digichart, Inc. Dixon Hughes PLLC Education Realty Trust Ernst & Young Faxon Gillis FedEx Brand Global Trade Services HUB Services Retail Marketing FedEx Office Ferrari Partners First Tennessee First Trust Portfolios Ford Motor Company and United Auto Workers Local 3036 Gap, Inc. Geny Insurance Goldstrike Casino Resort Goodlettsville Pediatrics Green Hills Cinema Hilton Hotels Corporation Hospital Corporation of America (HCA) Hunt Brothers Pizza


Hyatt Place Interior Design Services International Paper Co. IREM Jack FM Jaco Bryant Printers Jimmy Dean Katcher, Vaughan & Bailey KB Toys Kele, Inc. Keller Williams Realty Kelley Productions Kroger Corporation LensCrafters Levenson & Hill Lipscomb & Pitts, LLC Loeb Properties, Inc. Lowe Graphics & Printing M&W Transportation Macy’s Madonna Circle Magna Bank Mars Petcare Memphis Area Assoc. of Realtors® Memphis Grizzlies Memphis Redbirds Memphis Runner’s Track Club Microsoft Mid America Apartment Communities Morgan Keegan Nashville Predators Nashville Shores Nashville Sounds National Federation of Independent Businesses

Nelson Mazda NFIB nexAir Old Nashville Country Club On The Border Opryland Hotel Pacific Life Panera Bread Company Papa John’s Pizza Paragon Rehabilitation Pay Less Carpets Pfizer NASS Porter Paints Proctor/Graves Providential Fabricators R.W. Baird Realty Title Re:Trans Roche Pharmaceuticals Rogers Group Salem Music Network (94.1 the FISH and Solid Gospel 105) Saturn / United Auto Workers Local 1853 Shoney’s Signet Silas Hill Horse Farm Southeastern Asset Management Southern Land Company Southeast Venture Landscape St. Francis Hospital – Bartlett Stanford Financial Group

Starbucks Coffee Co. State Farm Insurance Stewart Building Supply Storico Symbion Physicians Team Calfee Tigrett & Pennington Insurance The Temple – Congregation Ohabai Sholom Tennessee Foreign Language Institute Tennessee Health Management Systems Tennessee Performing Arts Center Tennessee Titans Terry Hines and Assoc. Toys for Tots Tri-Med Turner Construction Co. Unity Hair Salon UBS Paine Webber Unum UPS Valenti Management Valero Volunteer Corporate Credit Union Volunteer Memphis/ Hands on Memphis Walker - J - Walker Wellspring Management Wood Personnel Wyatt Tarrant & Combs, LLP Xerox

Revenue & Expenditures More than 2,060 individuals, corporations and foundations gave $11,319,645 to help the children of Youth Villages this year. The annual revenue for Youth Villages in fiscal year 2008 was $97,285,915. The charts below demonstrate the sources of revenue and allocation of funds.

Revenue 40

YV Employees Give Back $575,000

38% 34%

35 30 25 20

16% 14%

15 10 5


0 -5


Other States/ Medicaid


Grants and Contributions

Investment Income

Expenditures Residential Treatment Intensive In-Home Foster Care Group Homes Crisis Services Direct Program Support Fundraising Administration Transitional Living Adoption Mentoring

28% 28% 15% 4% 5% 4% 2% 9% 3% 1% 1%

Youth Villages’ expenditures that go to direct care for children and families 89%

“There are a lot of things that make Youth Villages special,” says Patrick Lawler, Youth Villages CEO. “But the Our Family Campaign really sets us apart.” The Youth Villages Our Family Campaign (OFC) began in 1999 to allow staff to give back through payroll deductions. The effort has grown each year, and in 2008, staff gave back more than $575,000. Eighty-three percent of staff contributed; 12 percent gave back three percent or more of their salaries. Most employees designate their giving to the Transitional Living program, which helps young adults make a successful leap into independent adulthood. Over the years, our employees have become some of our most generous supporters, giving back more than $3.5 million. The Transitional Living program was funded entirely through grants from The Day Foundation, the Our Family Campaign and other private donors until the state of Tennessee began funding the program in part in 2007. OFC donations also support the Spiritual Life program, which is entirely funded through donations, and continuing education, which allows staff to pursue advanced degrees and licensure. “Without the generosity of our employees, we would not have been able to have some programs at all or help nearly the number of young people in Transitional Living,” Lawler says.



Highlights | 2007-2008 July // Youth Villages opens an office in Hickory, N.C. During this fiscal year, Youth Villages dramatically increased its services in North Carolina, ending with seven offices, the last opening in June, 2008, in Pinehurst. Aug // The first-ever Youth Villages Dodge This! Dodgeball tournament raises $17,000 for Youth Villages. Microsoft awards Youth Villages a $3.2 million Unlimited Potential - Community Technology Skills Grant in cash and software to create Microsoft Technology Learning Centers on our residential campuses. Sept // Youth Villages breaks ground on the new Girls Center on the Bartlett Campus, which will provide help to 200 seriously troubled girls a year. Oct // The Tiger Tickets Campaign, organized by the Highland Hundred,



allows hundreds of Youth Villages children and their staff to attend University of Memphis football games. Fifty-six golfers participate in the 2nd Annual Youth Villages Golf Challenge in Nashville. The event raises more than $30,000 for our Transitional Living and Mentoring programs. Nightmarez, a world-class haunted attraction, draws more than 6,000 visitors and raises more than $30,000. The haunt is organized by Patrick French and Scott Linderman. Nov // Three Youth Villages staff members — including Youth Villages CEO Patrick W. Lawler — participate in the Tennessee Adoption Bike Tour during National Adoption Month. The annual cross-state bike ride raises awareness of the need for adoptive families for Tennessee foster children and youth.

Dec // Hundreds of generous people became Holiday Heroes to Youth Villages children. Holiday parties for residential youth were sponsored by Hilton and the Bartlett Area Chamber of Commerce. Crye-Leike, Realtors staff and associates raise more than $26,000 to support the Youth Villages Chris Crye Mentor Program, established more than 11 years ago in memory of Chris Crye, son of the company’s co-owner Harold Crye. Crye-Leike’s accounting department raises an additional $12,000 for the program, which provides mentors to children receiving help on Youth Villages’ residential campuses. Jan // Tennessee Governor Phil Bredesen extends the partnership between Youth Villages and the State of Tennessee that created the Governor’s Mentoring Initiative. The initiative has matched 300 mentors with fos-

ter children in the state, exceeding its goal by 20 percent in its first year. Youth Villages helps publish “Helping Troubled Children and Youth” about Nicholas Hobbs’ Re-Education of troubled youth (Re-ED) philosophy. The book was edited by Mary Lynn and Bob Cantrell. More information is available at Youth Villages is the first children’s behavioral health organization in Tennessee to have its own license plate printed. Proceeds from the plate go toward the Youth Villages Transitional Living program. Feb // More than 2,500 attend the 19th Annual Youth Villages Soup Sunday at FedExForum. The event raises $75,000. Mar // Youth Villages expands to a new state, Florida, bringing Intensive In-

Home Services to families in Tampa. Before the end of the year, a new office would open in Lakeland, as well.

Youth Villages welcomes 65 summer interns from 34 colleges from across the nation.

Youth Villages expands our intensive in-home program to Woburn, Massachusetts, our second office in that state.

Youth Villages opens doors at a new office in Atlanta and begins serving children and families in Georgia.

Youth Villages is awarded a $1 million challenge grant by the prestigious Kresge Foundation to help raise the funds needed for the Girls Center.

June // The 4th Annual FORE Kids Golf Tournament in Dyersburg raises $6,500 to help Youth Villages children and families in that area.

April // The 26th Annual Youth Villages 5k Run/Walk, sponsored by Memphis Area Association of Realtors, attracts a record number of participants and spirit runners. The event raises nearly $80,000 for Youth Villages.

The 26th Annual Youth Villages Family Fun Fest, sponsored by Kele, Inc. in conjunction with the City of Bartlett Fishing Rodeo, raises $7,000 for the children of Youth Villages.

May // Youth Villages is named one of the best adoption-friendly workplaces among many well-known American nonprofits by the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption.

The UPS Ultimate 10k and 5k, organized by Debi and John Bookas, attains a new attendance record, raising $20,000 for Youth Villages.



Year End Review Fiscal year 2008 was a year of growth as Youth Villages reached out to new states.


outh Villages has offices in Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Florida, Massachusetts, Mississippi, North Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia and the District of Columbia. Our programs helped children from 34 states in fiscal year 2008.

Alabama: Arkansas: Florida: Georgia: Massachusetts: Mississippi: North Carolina: Tennessee: Texas: Virginia:

Anniston, Birmingham, Dothan, Huntsville, Mobile Jonesboro, Little Rock Lakeland, Tampa Atlanta Lawrence, Woburn Biloxi, Hattiesburg, Jackson, Tupelo Raleigh/Durham/Chapel Hill, Charlotte, Greensboro, Greenville, Hickory, Pinehurst, Wilmington Chattanooga, Clarksville, Columbia, Cookeville, Dickson, Dyersburg, Jackson, Johnson City, Knoxville, Linden, Memphis, Morristown, Nashville, Paris Dallas Arlington (also serving Washington, D.C.), Richmond

Growth and Expansion From a few employees helping 80 children in 1986, Youth Villages has grown to become a dynamic organization of 1,600 counselors, teachers and staff working from 51 locations in 40 cities in 10 states and the District of Columbia. Youth Villages touched the lives of more than 12,320 children and families during the past fiscal year. In 2008,



our research showed that 86 percent of children were discharged successfully and 84 percent were living successfully in the community two years after completing our programs. In 2008, Youth Villages expanded into three new states, opening offices in Florida, Georgia and Virginia to provide Intercept, one of our in-home programs,

to children and families. In addition, the program expanded in other locations. The Youth Villages MST program in North Carolina continued its rapid growth, expanding faster than any startup in the organization’s history, with counselors now helping 600 children and families from seven offices.


Youth Villages offers a comprehensive continuum of programs and services that allows children to be helped in the least restrictive setting possible, preferably in their own homes.

Adoption Counselors with our Adoption Program, founded in 2000, find homes for Tennessee children who have received help at Youth Villages and are available for adoption. Since the program began, 291 children have been placed with loving adoptive families. In fiscal year 2008, 67 Youth Villages children found permanent homes through the program; more than half of them – 63 percent – were adopted by their Youth Villages foster parents or by parents who had chosen our foster-to-adopt option. Foster Care The Youth Villages Treatment Foster Care Program allows children with emotional and behavioral problems to receive help from specially trained treatment parents and then to be reunited with their relatives or go to adoptive homes. Since the program began in 1992, Youth Villages foster parents have helped nearly 3,000 children. Nearly three-quarters of the children who leave foster care each year are successfully reunited with their own families. Intensive In-Home Services Youth Villages offers two Intensive In-Home programs that help children with emotional and behavioral problems, and their families, in their natural environment: the home. This year, 3,524 children and families were helped in the Youth Villages Intensive In-Home Services programs: Intercept: In Alabama, Georgia, Florida, Massachusetts, Mississippi, Tennessee and Virginia, Youth Villages offers Intercept to children of all ages to strengthen their families and prevent children from going into state custody. The program is also used to reunify families whose children have been in out-of-home placements. Youth Villages Multisystemic Therapy (MST): In North Carolina; Dallas, Texas; Dothan, Alabama; and Washington, D.C. Youth Villages provides Multisystemic Therapy (MST), an evidence-based program to help children with anti-social or delinquent behaviors and their families.

Mentoring Youth Villages has offered a formal mentoring program to support the children in our care since 1997. The Chris Crye Mentor Program: A memorial to the son of Crye-Leike, Realtors co-owner Harold Crye, who was a passionate mentor before his early death. Last year, Crye-Leike agents, staff and associates raised more than $25,000 to support the program. Governor’s Mentoring Initiative: Last year, Youth Villages took on a challenge from Tennessee Governor Phil Bredesen to find mentors for children in foster care across the state of Tennessee through the Governor’s Mentoring Initiative. The program is operated by Youth Villages in partnership with the Governor’s Children’s Cabinet and the Department of Children’s Services. During its first year, the program exceeded its initial goals by 20 percent, finding mentors for more than 300 foster children across the state. FedEx Career Prep Program Young people on Youth Villages’ residential campuses in Memphis have the opportunity to be mentored by FedEx employees who teach business skills and workforce etiquette.

Residential Treatment Youth Villages provides residential and intensive residential treatment for children and young people who have serious to severe emotional and behavioral problems. Bartlett, Dogwood and Deer Valley Campuses: Located in beautiful, natural settings, our open campuses provide the surroundings for individualized treatment for children from ages 7 to 18. Specialty treatment programs are available for children with difficult issues, such as co-occurring developmental delays and behavioral disorders, as well as problem sexual behaviors. Center for Intensive Residential Treatment: Since it opened in 2003, the center has served more than 1,100 children with severe emotional and behavioral problems who must receive help in a secure environment.

The open, light-filled center is able to accept children with many different problems, including those who have mental health problems complicated by serious medical conditions. Many children are discharged back to their homes; others step down to one of Youth Villages’ less restrictive programs. Group Homes: Youth Villages group homes, located in West and Middle Tennessee, help young people learn life and independent living skills while in the community. This year, 254 children received help in group homes. Youth Villages Runaway Shelter: Part of the Youth Villages group home program, the emergency shelter provides help in a safe environment to homeless and runaway teens in Memphis. The shelter operates as part of the national Safe Place Network.

Specialized Crisis Services Begun in 2003, the Youth Villages Specialized Crisis Services Program is in its fifth year of helping children with psychiatric emergencies in Tennessee. Our counselors assess children and refer them to the most appropriate, least restrictive treatment options with an emphasis placed on intensive home- and community-based help. In fiscal year 2008, the Specialized Crisis Services Program received 8,570 total calls and completed 5,947 face-to-face assessments. Transitional Living Since 1999, the Transitional Living program has provided help to nearly 1,800 young people aging out of foster care or state custody in Tennessee. The program began through a grant from The Day Foundation and was supported for eight years entirely by private donations, including significant, continuing support from philanthropist Clarence Day and the Youth Villages employee-giving Our Family Campaign. In 2007, the Tennessee Department of Children’s Services began providing support for the program for the first time. More than 800 young people who have aged out of state custody received support through Transitional Living during 2008. YOUTH VILLAGES | PROGRAM REPORT


Research | 2008 The Youth Villages Research Department tracks virtually every child discharged from our programs at 6, 12 and 24 months for detailed outcome evaluations. The department was first established in 1994 and now has 16 employees led by Director Sarah Hurley, Ph.D. In more than 14 years, Youth Villages has amassed one of the largest databases on outcomes following the treatment of children with emotional and behavioral problems. The organization has partnered with 15 colleges and universities to examine a wide variety of questions related to child welfare and children’s mental health.

Success Rate

86% Discharged Successfully * 84% Successful 2 Years Post-Discharge * * Success is defined as going home, to a homelike environment or, for youth over age 18, living independently.


60% Gender Female


Parent Satisfaction One way that we measure our success is by monitoring parent satisfaction. In fiscal year 2008, we surveyed 1,678 parents.

8 years old and younger • 90 percent were satisfied with the counseling services their children received at Youth Villages. • 93 percent were satisfied with the Youth Villages family therapy they received.

13% 18 years old and older

12% Age

12 to 14 years old


• 91 percent indicated that they would refer another person to Youth Villages. • 94 percent were satisfied with Youth Villages’ programs, staff and processes as a whole. 34


9 to 11 years old 11%

15 to 17 years old 39%

Sarah Hurley, Youth Villages director of research, reviews projected data for fiscal year 2009 with her staff.

Presenting Issues

Program Totals

78% of clients present with multiple issues

Emotional Disorder


(mood, depression, anxiety)

Behavioral Disorder


(ADHD, impulse, conduct)

Physical/Sexual Abuse


Substance Abuse


Suicide Ideation/Attempt


Intensive In-Home Services Foster Care Transitional Living Group Homes

State of Origin 3,524


933 847 254



Massachusetts North Carolina Tennessee Texas Virginia Washington, D.C. Other**

(includes Project Safe Place Shelter)

Residential Treatment (includes Intensive Residential Treatment)

Specialized Crisis Services


**In fiscal year 2008, Youth Villages helped children from our core service states and: Arizona, California, Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Maryland, Maine, Michigan, Missouri, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Utah, Wisconsin, West Virginia, Wyoming.

Florida Georgia Mississippi

5% 1% <1% <1% 6% <1% 4% 77% 2% <1% 1% 3%

Publications This year, Youth Villages research staff partnered in the publication of three journal articles:

Barth, h R R., Greeson Greeson, JJ., G Guo, S., Green, R., Hurley, S., & Sisson, J. (2007). Outcomes for youth receiving intensive in-home therapy or residential care: A comparison using propensity scores. American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, 77 (4), 497-505.

Greeson, J., Guo, S., Barth, R., Hurley, S., & Sisson, J. (in press). Outcomes of intensive in-home therapy for youth: Contributions of therapist stability, and youth age, race, and risk factors. Research on Social Work Practice.

Barth, R., Greeson, J., Guo, S., Green, R., Hurley, S., & Sisson, J. (2007). Changes in family functioning and child behavior following intensive in-home therapy. Children and Youth Services Review, 29 (8), 9881009.



Meeting the Challenges Ahead W

hen Youth Villages was founded 22 years ago, the organization helped 80 children on two campuses in one city. We saw that more children and families needed our help, and good people rallied around us. Today’s Youth Villages was built through the generosity of private donors and foundations; the strength, guidance and commitment of our Board of Directors; the caring spirit of thousands of volunteers, mentors, foster and adoptive parents; and the hard work of our staff. Through this incredible support over many years, Youth Villages was able to demonstrate that our programs work and attract others to our cause. We are so grateful for the continued support of so many. Today, our more than 1,600 counselors, teachers and staff work from 51 offices in 10 states and the District of Columbia. Altogether, our programs and services helped children from 34 different states. Eighty-six percent of the children who were served by Youth Villages were discharged successfully; eightyfour percent were still living successfully two years later. We have grown to become a national leader in the field of

children’s behavioral health and one of our country’s strongest advocates for reform in child welfare, children’s mental health and juvenile justice systems. We are constantly pushing forward, meeting new challenges, expanding our capability to bring hope to more troubled children and families. Next year, we will open the doors to the Girls Center and begin bringing our Transitional Living program to more of our core states. Grants from The Day Foundation and the GreenLight Fund are already allowing us to begin offering help to young people aging out of foster care in North Carolina and Massachusetts. With your support, we’ll continue to meet the challenges ahead, to help more children and families in more places, every day.

Michael J. Bruns

Patrick W. Lawler

Chairman of the Board

Chief Executive Officer

Patrick W. Lawler (second from left), CEO of Youth Villages, and Mike Bruns (middle), chairman of the Youth Villages Board of Directors, are pictured with young people receiving help in the Transitional Living program, which will be expanding to more states next year. Bruns has been chairman of the Youth Villages Board of Directors for eight of the last 13 years – a period of incredible growth for our organization.

Youth Villages Board of Directors Mike Bruns, Chairman

Rev. Robert Earl Jones

Jim Parrish, Vice Chairman

Jimmy Lackie

Paul Bower, Treasurer

Ken May

Todd Watson, Secretary

Mark Medford

Jim Barton, Jr.

Johnny Pitts

Eric Bolton

Ray Pohlman

Joyce Broffitt

Ronnie Randall

Laura Holt

Kenneth Reeves

Joanna Jacobson

Betsy Walkup

Mamie Jones

George White

Patrick W. Lawler, Chief Executive Officer

Middle Tennessee Advisory Council Bill Hamburg, Co-Chair

Chris Kimler

Betsy Walkup, Co-Chair

Kristin Pendergraft

Karen Baker

Cary Pierce

Judy Caplan

Peter Powell

George Cate, Jr.

Lisa Small

Mary Cooper

Joyce Vise

Vaughan DePillo

Pat Wallace

Mary Grochau

Jeremy Werthan

Julia Ann Hawkins

Vicki Willett

For more information about Youth Villages, our programs and services, and a complete list of locations, go online to or call toll-free 1-877-983-6767.


We help children and families live successfully. Kidsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; needs come first â&#x20AC;Ś Always. Children are raised best by their families. We provide a safe place. We strive to achieve positive, lasting results. We are committed to our staff. We are each responsible for providing the highest level of service to our customers. We constantly improve our performance to achieve excellence. We create new programs to meet the needs of children, families and the community. We do what we say we do.

Youth Villages 2008 Program Report  

Founded in Memphis, Tenn., in 1986, Youth Villages is a national leader in offering the most effective programs and services to help emotion...

Youth Villages 2008 Program Report  

Founded in Memphis, Tenn., in 1986, Youth Villages is a national leader in offering the most effective programs and services to help emotion...