Who We Are
Youth Advocate Programs, Inc. (YAP) is a nationally recognized nonprofit organization committed to providing cost-effective, community-based alternatives to institutional placement through direct service, advocacy, and policy change since 1975. More...
YAP recently worked with award winning filmmaker Mark Landsman to create a documentary about the work that we do in communities across the nation. The result is a moving and compelling film called "Safely Home". To watch the short version, click the video box below. To watch the full 13-minute version and learn more about the film, click here.
Reflections on Nelson Mandela
December 5, 2013- Today we learned of the passing of one of our planet's greatest leaders, Nelson "Madiba" Mandela.
As you all know, Madiba spent almost 30 years in prison in South Africa on Robben Island for the crime of political action to end apartheid; South Africa's version of Separate but Equal.
To me and my family, the most enduring thing about Madiba was that he was courageous enough to pursue his own truth. He stayed true to his principles, even through unimaginable personal pain and loss, and fought for what was right for him, his family, his country and even his oft neglected continent. Read more
NJ YAP Director Receives Courageous Leadership Award
December 1, 2013- Atlantic County, NJ Director Lamont Fauntleroy was selected by The W. Haywood Burns Institute (WHBI) to receive a 2013 Courageous Leadership Award.
The WHBI recognized Lamont's unwavering commitment to juvenile justice: "The movement to secure justice for our young people and communities has only been strengthened by your work in Atlantic County engaging communities with system stakeholders to reduce racial and ethnic disparities."
Congratulations, Lamont, on this prestigious, national honor!
NJ YAP Director Recognized by CASA
November 22, 2013- Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) of Cumberland, Gloucester, and Salem counties featured YAP Program Director Jennifer Rodriguez on their website and highlighted her work as "a voice for the children." Keep up the great work, Jennifer!
YAP Chicago Director Steve Gates Discusses Youth Violence in Chicago at the Kennedy School at Harvard
November 21, 2013- Steve Gates, YAP Chicago Director will join Illinois State Representative Ken Dunkin and former CEO of Chicago Public Schools, Jean Claude Brizard in a panel discussion, Stemming the Tide: Confronting Youth Violence in Chicago. The program is hosted by the Harvard Kennedy School of Public Leadership and facilitated by YAP's Policy & Advocacy Center Advisory Board Member, Hayling Price, a student at the Kennedy School. Steve will share YAP's approach in Chicago where, under his leadership, 94% of YAP youth were kept safe and nearly all achieved educational and social success despite dire predictions. To read more about Chicago YAP outcomes, click here. Read the NY Times Magazine Piece featuring Steve's work.
YAP Co-Presenting on the Need for Juvenile Justice Reform
November 8, 2013- This Sunday, November 10, YAP will be co-presenting at the Ignatian Family Teach-in for Justice on "The US Juvenile Justice System: The Federal Role and Areas in Need of Reform" with Alexandra Staropoli from the Coalition for Juvenile Justice (CJJ).
YAP's Approach to Family Engagement Highlighted at National Conference
November 8, 2013- On November 15, 2013, YAP will co-present at the National Federation of Families for Children Mental Health's annual conference in Washington, DC. YAP National Policy Director Shaena Fazal will join Liane Rozell Family Coordinator from Washington DC's Department of Youth Rehabilitation Services, family advocate Wendy Luckenbill and Neelum Arya, the author of Family Comes First. The presentation will focus on Family Engagement strategies and tools for youth and families in the juvenile justice system, including how YAP integrates partnering with families as a core principle into our service delivery.
The presentation is based on previously delivered webinar "Family Comes First: Transforming the juvenile Justice System by Partnering with Families", sponsored by the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) and the National Center for Youth in Custody (NC4YC).
Read more about YAP's Family Engagement practices, or visit the conference website.
Setting National Standards for Youth in the Juvenile Justice System
November 4, 2013 YAP's National Policy Director, Shaena Fazal, discusses the Juvenile Justice Delinquency Prevention Act (JJDPA) in an op-ed piece published by the Juvenile Justice Information Exchange.
YAP's Community-Based Approach for High-Risk Youth to be Highlighted at France Forum, Nov 4-6
October 29, 2013 YAP's international team will participate in a plenary address and facilitate a workshop at a forum, "Engaging and Empowering Young People to Participate in a Collective Social Action for Change," in Lyon, France.
The plenary and workshop will focus on YAP's 5 guiding principles: individualized service planning, family engagement, using a strength-based approach, adhering to a no-reject policy and cultural competence, with a special emphasis on neighborhood-based recruitment.
The participants of the Forum will include street workers, policy makers and stakeholders from around the world. YAP is the only North American presenter. Comite' National de Liaison des Associations de Prevention Specialisee (CNLAPS), the organization facilitating the forum and the French Embassy's Office for the Cooperation with Civil Society Organizations are generously sponsoring YAP's attendance and participation at the forum. For more information, read the full press announcement here.