Connecting youth, families and community

The Community Programming Initiative is a program of the Department of Youth Rehabilitation Services (DYRS). It serves as a bridge between youth, families and the community through outreach, engagement and other supportive services with the following three objectives in mind:

  • To advance the rehabilitation of DYRS youth by connecting them to services, supports and resources that help them reach their goals and developmental milestones;
  • To enhance public safety by engaging youth in positive, developmentally appropriate and structured activities that complement and enhance DYRS’s methodologies for the care and supervision of young people;
  • To create safer and stronger communities that support youth and families by investing directly in local organizational and human resources that are accessible and dedicated to strengthening young people and their families.

DYRS provides the vision, youth care coordination and oversight for two service delivery models. The DC YouthLink (DCYL) model consists of a network of providers and programs that deliver supportive services and programs to young people in the community. In addition, services and programs are provided to youth at the DYRS Achievement Centers. All programs, services and providers selected to participate in both models are managed in partnership with an administrative entity.

How the program is administered

Progressive Life Center (PLC) has been awarded the grant to serve as the Administrative Partner for the 2020 Community Programming Initiative (CPI) Service Coalition. The Center is partnering with PLC to deliver training and capacity building support to the selected coalition of providers.

PLC’s “care coordination pathway” streamlines each youth’s treatment from beginning to end and includes the youth, his/her primary caregivers, natural supports and others. This practice allows PLC to establish a rapport with youth being served and develop long-lasting relationships with those who are providing the services. Through these efforts, PLC ensures that court-involved youth and their families achieve personal goals and milestones through participation in a wide range of programs that emphasize individual strengths, personal accountability, public safety, skill development, family involvement and community support.

The Center’s role

In collaboration with PLC and DYRS, the Center helps strengthen the Service Coalition through training and capacity building. Our role begins with assessing the status of each Service Coalition provider with respect to the training needs of the staff and the board, financial and programmatic management components, and capacity building capabilities. The Center is responsible for developing and implementing a training calendar that reflects the needs of the Service Coalition members, documenting key developments and implementation milestones as training progresses, and providing recommendations for the continued progress of the Service Coalition.

Working together through this initiative, government and nonprofits are able to provide a stronger fabric of support for our commissioned youth, nurturing their potential for a brighter future and cultivating stronger, safer communities.