Covington County, Alabama Youth Advocate Programs (YAP) Inc. staff cooked Thanksgiving lunch and supper and served it to the office’s referral authorities, supporters, donors and fellow coworkers. It was the team’s way of saying thank you to those who believe in YAP as a cost-effective, community-based alternative to youth incarceration and other out-of-home behavioral health or residential placement.
YAP partners with families, matching youth and others with neighborhood-based mentor-Advocates who help identify each individual’s gifts and talents and empower them with tools to succeed. At the same time, YAP connects families with resources to reinforce the foundation of those it serves. Referrals to YAP come from family court judges, social services and behavioral health professionals, and law enforcement personnel. Covington County YAP Advocates also provide holistic support to adults who are victims of domestic violence, sexual assault and stalking.
“We made enough food for their referral authorities’ early and late shifts. As a result, dozens of members of our local community were able to make it, including those from the Andalusia Police Department, Opp Police Department, Florala Police Department, Lockhart Police Department, Covington County Sheriff’s Office, County Drug Task Force, Alabama State Troopers, Powersouth, Covington Baptist Association and the Covington County Circuit Judge’s office,” said YAP Covington County Program Director Amanda Cook. “We wanted everyone to know we appreciate their trust in YAP to provide neighborhood-based alternatives to out-of-home placements for youth in our local justice and social services systems.”
A non-profit organization, YAP operates in several Alabama counties and communities in 22 other states and Washington, DC, with plans to expand to throughout the U.S.