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Youth Advocate Programs Inc. (YAP) is a non-profit organization committed to keeping children and adults out of institutions, whether in the form of psychiatric hospitals, residential or group homes, detention or juvenile correctional facilities. We work instead to build community capacity for our nation's most vulnerable youth and families and believe that removing children from their homes shatters families, is harmful to young people, costly and inefficient. We work towards our mission of deinstitutionalization in three ways: Through direct service provision; by supporting adults, youth and families to become self-advocates, and through influencing public policy informed by our direct services and the voices of the people we serve. 

The YAP Policy and Advocacy Center formalizes the latter two approaches and reflects an investment in social and policy change that mirrors the impact of our direct services. The mission of the YAP Policy & Advocacy Center is to promote policies and influence change that create or invest greater resources in families and communities and reduce reliance on institutionalization.