Mission, Vision, Services, & Values


A community that offers hope and opportunity to all youth, so every child can succeed and thrive.


To improve our community's collective ability to engage and support all youth by pioneering and sharing best practices.


St. Paul Youth Services is a leader in reimagining how our community engages with and holds itself accountable for youth.

We partner directly with young people to build skills and resources to achieve their goals; deliver tools, training, and partnerships to guide nonprofits, schools, and public agencies in transforming their practices and cultures to be more youthcentric; and amplify youth voice and agency in public policy - all to achieve measurably more positive and equitable outcomes for our youth. 


At St. Paul Youth Youth Services, we...

  • Act According to Our Belief that Every Young Person Is Valuable

  • Recognize Youth Work is Skilled Work

  • Demonstrate Shared Vulnerability & Accountability

  • Amplify Youth Voice & Power to Contribute to Our Community

  • Increase Racial Equity & Inclusion

  • Promote High Expectations with High Support

  • Make Intentional Decisions to Achieve Sustainable Impact

  • Respect Families as Loving Experts

...and we partner with organizations who demonstrate and share these values.


St. Paul Youth Services (SPYS) was established 45 years ago jointly by the City of Saint Paul and the Saint Paul Police Department, in response to concerns about increased youth interaction with the juvenile justice system. Over time, we established our independence as a 501(c)(3) and added programs, partners, and expertise rooted in proven practices and pioneering approaches to early behavior intervention.

Since its founding, SPYS has successfully interrupted the cradle-to-prison pipeline, keeping thousands of youth healthy, hopeful, and free. 9 out of 10 youth we partner with do better in school, stay out of the juvenile justice system, and resolve family conflicts without police intervention, hospitalization, or removal from the home. Today, SPYS also partners with youth to dismantle the cradle-to-prison pipeline altogether.