Our Approach & Services: Smart, Fair & Loving

Pushing limits is an essential part of healthy youth development. How adults respond when youth act out can change the trajectory of their lives -- for better or much, much worse. At St. Paul Youth Services, we promote and pioneer practices that are smart, fair, and loving. These practices allow youth to be held accountable for their actions, but with a safety net, second chances, and by developing the skills to make choices that allow them to pursue their dreams

Pushing limits is an essential part of healthy youth development. How adults respond when youth act out can change the trajectory of their lives -- for better or much, much worse. At St. Paul Youth Services, we promote and pioneer practices that are smart, fair, and loving. These practices allow youth to be held accountable for their actions, but with a safety net, second chances, and by developing the skills to make choices that allow them to pursue their dreams


IN THE COMMUNITY

Workshops & Training SPYS provides trains leaders and staff of nonprofits and public agencies who work with youth - whether by mission or circumstance - with the power to directly or indirectly influence youths' lives. SPYS also offers a training course for individual community residents who want to build positive relations with youth in their community or neighborhood and start a local program to engage youth and introduce them to new skills and interests. All of SPYS' workshops and trainings give adults a better understanding of youth developmental needs, the systemic barriers youth face (especially youth of color, youth living in poverty, and LGBTQ youth), and practical skills, confidence, and motivation to more effectively engage with young people. 

Consulting SPYS partners with nonprofits and public agencies to assess their approach, identify barriers to their engagement of youth, and develop and train staff on an action plan to transform the culture, practices, and environment to be more youth-centric.

Tools We create and share tips and tools for nonprofit, public agency, and community use to increase understanding of youth developmental needs and smart, fair, and loving approaches to youth engagement and intervention. 

SPYS trained representatives from more than 100 organizations last year.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

IN THE HOME

Children's Crisis Response SPYS provides in-home family-based intervention for Ramsey County youth who are experiencing a mental health, behavioral, or situational crisis. Crisis counselors are on duty 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. A multidisciplinary response team visits the home and helps families de-escalate the crisis and develop a plan for greater stability going forward. The counselors also follow up with the families to ensure things are getting better. 99% of crisis response situations are de-escalated without out-of-home placement, hospitalization, or the involvement of law enforcement. LEARN MORE

AT SCHOOL

Behavior Intervention Program SPYS’ behavioral intervention specialists first work with school staff to equip them with strategies for pre-empting and de-escalating conflicts. Then, they work directly with disruptive students throughout the year to modify their behaviors: holding them accountable, while providing guidance and a supportive relationship. Several St. Paul and Twin Cities area middle and high schools host this program on-site or take advantage of our professional development services and on-demand coaching for educators and administrators. 91% of participating students improved their behavior and 81% improved their academic performance. Participating schools drastically decreased student suspensions. LEARN MORE   

WITH THE LAW

Pre-Charge Diversion SPYS’ restorative justice program offers an alternative to court for a range of first time offenses including shoplifting, property damage, and curfew violations, helping young people avoid repeat mistakes and stay out of the criminal justice system. 97% of participating youth have not been arrested again six months after program completion. LEARN MORE