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Safely Home Campaign

YAP is proud to be the founding organization of the Safely Home Campaign, a national movement to safely care for all youth and young adults in their home communities and with their families by reducing and preventing unnecessary out-of-home placements and creating safer, more supportive communities for at-risk young people.

YAP's Evidence Base

More than half a million young people live in youth jails and prisons, psychiatric hospitals and group homes, or are disconnected from their parents, siblings and communities by being placed in foster care. A large percentage of these young people live far away from their homes and communities of origin.

YAP has proven that high and complex need youth and their families can be successful within the community while maintaining safety through providing services and supports within the home, school and broader neighborhood. YAP provides cost-effective alternative to out-of-home placement that strengthens youth, families and communities. We achieve this while engaging those youth and families that are most at-risk, with long histories of system-involvement, failed placements, and “non-compliance.” 

We believe in our model and have 40+ years of successful youth and families that suggest its effectiveness; however, we recognize that anecdotal evidence is not enough, and further, that there are always opportunities to improve and monitor our practice.

YAP has undertaken a number of activities to advance our evidence base and ensure that we are providing our youth and families with the skills and supports that they need to live productive, meaningful lives within their community. YAP has been internally measuring and tracking outcomes since 2005, and we have engaged in multiple opportunities to have our model studied and evaluated dating back to 1997. We have also adopted a number of specific evidence-based interventions that strengthen our core wraparound-advocacy model.

Our efforts have not gone unnoticed. YAP has been cited as a promising practice by a number of well known and respected organizations in the human service field, and we have been recognized for our effective community-based services in a number of publications.

Why Our Work Matters

The Concern YAP's Solution
Out-of-home placements are expensive.
Millions of dollars are spent annually in caring for youth in out-of-home placements. In most cases, meeting kids needs through community support is significantly less expensive. For example, residential facilities and secure detention often cost at least 50% more per day than the cost of providing care for that same youth in the community.
YAP offers safe, successful community-based programs at about half the cost of most out-of-home placements.
Out-of-home placements place youth at additional risk.
Research shows that youth in out-of-home placement are at higher risk for a number of poor outcomes, including sexual abuse, trauma, recidivism, substance abuse, homelessness, disconnection from school and work, poverty and a number of health and mental illnesses. For example, one in eight youth in detention are sexually abused according to a 2010 study by the Bureau of Justice. These poor social and health outcomes have economic costs, too. For example, dropouts cost the United States more than $300 billion per year according to the National Governor’s Association.
YAP programs achieve good outcomes for youth and families, reducing further system involvement while strengthening family relationships, and connections to school, employment and community. YAP’s programs also reduce costly, long-term reliance on public welfare and other systems by helping young people learn to function safely and independently. Staff help young people establish and achieve educational, vocational training and employment goals. YAP also helps develop a sustainable team of individuals from the community who can provide support after YAP involvement has ended.
Out-of-home placements disproportionately affect youth of color.
Minority youth represent 42% of the US youth population, but 57% of all youth in foster care and 66% of incarcerated youth.
Approximately 70% of the population served by YAP is youth of color. YAP staff, hired from the communities they serve, provide positive role models who share the youth’s culture and ethnicity.
Out-of-home placements weaken communities.
Placing kids in institutional settings, often outside of the local community, diverts funds that could otherwise be used to strengthen local infrastructure and resources, such as after-school programming, education, youth development, and job training.
By reducing reliance on out-of-home placement, YAP provides opportunity for saved dollars to be invested in communities instead of institutions. YAP hires community members, provides Supported Work opportunities with local businesses for many youth and engages young people and families in activities that give back to communities.