YFS strives to make a positive impact on the youth we serve. We know that the future of our community relies on them and we want each of our participants to be prepared for a successful and fulfilling life. We empower our youth through workforce development, relational skill building and leadership opportunities.
The Connections Project is a 5-year federal research demonstration project which uses a relationship-focused approach to improve the well-being of foster, runaway, homeless and exploited youth.
Independent Living Skills
Skills Development & Support
The Independent Living Skills program (ILS) is designed to prepare and assist current and former foster youth through their transition from the foster care system into independence. We provide a strengths-based, individualized approach to assist youth in reaching their personal goals.
Support for Runaway and Homeless Youth
Street Outreach provides support to runaway and homeless youth in North San Diego County. Our goal is to advocate and assist youth in the process of getting off the streets and finding a safe place. We offer basic necessities to youth as well as connections to resources and other supportive services.
We offer internships and placement opportunities for individuals interested in pursuing a rewarding career in human services. We offer the experience of working with a culturally diverse population with exceptional clinical supervision and training.
Support for Transition Age Youth
The Transition Age Youth (TAY) Academy provides safe, inclusive, youth-led drop-in resource centers in North County San Diego. TAY is dedicated to serving youth and young adults in a manner which is knowledgeable of, and sensitive to, the trauma occurring in their lives.
Relational Well-being and Workforce Development
Connections 2020 assists underserved young adults throughout San Diego County by enhancing their relational & emotional skills and improving their economic stability. Program services are based on the idea that identifying and maintaining authentic, healthful relationships will increase overall well-being and boost a young person’s employability and financial stability.
FOR CURRENT FOSTER YOUTH AGES 18-21
Do you live with a supportive adult and wish to remain with them? The host family model will provide a safe, stable environment that will support and nurture an existing relationship that you have with a caring, supportive adult. This is a housing program which is designed to support you and your relationship with your chosen HOST in a family like setting.
This program is available to current foster youth ages 18-21 (Non Minor Dependents).
Host families are identified as:
- A caring and supportive adult who has a pre-existing relationship with the participant
- An adult committed to supporting the participant in a family like setting
- A comfortable living environment with certain expectations and oversight of the participant
Long term and lasting relationships are essential to the success of a Non Minor Dependent. Through this innovative approach to transitional housing, young people experience stability, live in an environment that mirrors an intact family, increase well-being and avoids the possibility of disruptions in housing.
Benefits for Non Minor Dependent
- $500 monthly stipend
- Increase independent living skills
- Support in goal attainment and emotional wellness
- $50 monthly savings received at exit
Benefits for HOST family
- $500 monthly stipend to host family
- Access to program staff 24/7
- Monthly check-ins
- Crisis Intervention
- In Home services
- Non Minor Dependent, Host Family, and Social worker agree that host family is a good fit for youth
- Social Worker completes county referral and provides potential host information
- Potential host family and youth are interviewed by YFS
- YFS offers contingent acceptance to participant and potential host
- YFS initiates background checks on all adults in the home and certification of residence
- Upon receipt of background clearance and approval of home inspection, a final acceptance is offered
For more information about our HOST housing program, email [email protected].
Our Safe Place
For LGBTQ Youth and Families
Our Safe Place is a certified outpatient behavioral health program that provides a welcoming and supportive environment for LGBTQ youth, ages 12-21, and their families.
We offer services such as support groups for youth and family members, case management, mentorship, community outreach, trainings, skill development, and educational workshops.
We also have opportunities for experienced individuals to work as Connection Coaches and Support Specialists.
This program is a collaborative county contract with San Diego Youth Services and South Bay Community Services, providing:
- Individual and group psychotherapy
- Psychiatric services
- Case management for children, adolescents, young adults, and their families and guardians
Our Safe Place has four drop-in centers located throughout San Diego County, two of which are operated by the YMCA TAY Academy. Centers are open midday during the week and some hours during the weekend, with extended evening and holiday hours.
Urban Career Pathways
Urban Career Pathways is a program located at the TAY Academy in Escondido that provides opportunities to gain meaningful training and paid work experience in high-demand jobs.
Participants will work with staff to help identify and achieve academic, professional, and personal goals while navigating one of our 3 pathways:
- Social and Human Services
- Child Development
- Specialty Foods and Microbreweries
- 18-24 years of age
- Residing in North County, San Diego
- Authorized to work in the United States
- Not currently enrolled in school
What We Offer
- Individualized case management support
- Paid internships with the YMCA of San Diego County
- Academic and professional supportive services
- Access to community resources and educational assistance
- Team building (monthly events for participants)
- Opportunities to gain part-time work experience in chosen career pathway