Welcome to Open Door Youth Services. We are Southern Indiana’s source for youth activities and community growth.
The Floyd County Youth Services Bureau was officially established on August 9, 1982. A grant was secured from the Juvenile Justice Institute for renovation and first year operating expenses for a shelter for troubled children and youth. In addition to grant money, thousands of dollars and man hours were contributed by the community. Since that time, numerous programs have been added in response to needs presented within the Southern Indiana community.
In 2012, a move to a newly renovated facility seemed the perfect opportunity to change the name to reflect our expanded programs, both qualitatively and geographically. Open Door was chosen because it seemed to indicate our acceptance of a responsibility to work with the most vulnerable children in the community. Open Door Youth Services is an accredited member of Indiana Youth Services Association, a member of IARCCA, An Association of Children and Family Services, and a member of the Children’s Coalition of Indiana. Our programs reach as many as 700 children a year.
Youth Shelter Programs
Sometimes the kids arrive because “home” isn’t such a good place to be. Sometimes they are brought because they’ve missed too much school, or the disagreements at home are out of control. Whatever the reason, the Floyd County Youth Shelter gives them a safe, supportive place to live.
The Floyd County Youth Services Bureau has been serving our community since 1982. The Floyd County Youth Shelter programs add positive influences to the lives of our young people.
The Youth Shelter provides residential care after a referral from the Department of Child Services or Juvenile Probation. The kids are assured of a safe and comfortable residence where they get personal attention from a full-time teacher and a licensed family therapist. The shelter provides a highly structured environment where children know what to expect as well as what’s expected of them. Relaxation is important, too. The kids have access to a library, TV’s, computers and outdoor recreation. The Floyd County Youth Shelter works hard to help kids succeed!
In 2003 only 4% of children placed stayed for more than 60 days. That number jumped to 55% by 2009.
Youth Shelter Resident Programs
Floyd County Non-Residential Programs
Sometimes the kids arrive because home isn’t such a good place to be. Sometimes they are brought because they’ve missed too much school, or the disagreements at home are out of control. Whatever the reason, Open Door Youth Services gives them a safe, supportive place to live. Some children stay a couple of days and some have to stay for months or even years. We are proud that our residential program outcomes show great success every year. Some of our proudest accomplishments include providing family counseling in-house, growing a garden maintained by our kids, and children who visit and write years after they leave.
A Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist conducts therapeutic groups with the children weekly. He is also available for individual, family, and crisis counseling. All residential staff receives extensive clinical training by the therapist.
We are also proud to provide a staff person devoted to academics. One-on-one homework help, daily study time, tutoring, and supplemental instruction are provided to residents. Regular contact with teachers, guidance counselors, and other school staff is maintained. Accommodations are also made for all children not enrolled in a traditional school program.
New Directions is an after-school program in area elementary schools that provides prevention education to children utilizing the Social Decision Making Model. Children often stay in the program for several years establishing strong connections with each other and staff. Some of the children’s parents are former participants themselves. This program also promotes literacy by providing free books to children in the program through a partnership with the City of New Albany.
Our Teen Court program diverts youth from the justice system by intervening after the first offense. Children referred are defended, prosecuted, and “sentenced” by other teens. The only adult involved is the judge, one of three attorneys from Waters, Tyler, Hofmann, Scott, LLC, who volunteer for the program. Teen Courts are known for their success in preventing recidivism.
A partnership with Hazelwood Middle School allows Teen Court to provide extra efforts against truancy. The children referred through this partnership receive targeted case management to prevent further truancy, as families often need help with simple barriers to ensure the child’s regular attendance.
Through a partnership with Bloomington Meadows Hospital, we provide outpatient psychiatric care for children at our location via teleconferencing equipment. The medical professionals are located in Bloomington, while Open Door provides case management locally to ensure children receive the full scope of services associated with outpatient psychiatric care.
Diagnostic and Evaluation Services
With a referral by the Indiana Department of Child Services or Juvenile Probation, children and families can receive various types of psychological testing. This testing can help to determine the right intervention for children as soon as possible, keeping them from being shuffled around between various programs.
Problem Solving Skills Group, provided in partnership with LifeSpring Mental Health Services, is an eight week program for teens that focuses on common difficulties and practical solutions. Often children in the residential program participate, but this group is open to any child referred by Juvenile Probation.
Homemaker/Parent Aide Services are provided by Open Door in conjunction with Associates in Counseling and Psychotherapy. Families referred for Home Based Therapy and/or Case Management with ACP are eligible for this in-home practical assistance in managing a home day to day. These services are especially helpful after a child is discharged from residential care.
Mentoring has been shown to be successful. Some of our longer-term residents are here simply because there is nowhere else for them to go. These children desperately need individual attention and strong role models. Volunteers can determine their own time commitment.
Volunteer residential staff – become trained in general staff regulations and volunteer to work a half shift (4 hours) during the week or weekend. It lets the children know someone is there for unselfish reasons, and it provides a small savings to the agency.
When you volunteer you are welcome to show them a skill or teach them a craft. The kids are always ready to learn something or be involved in a game or group exercise. If this is something you may be interested in, please call and set up a time to visit the shelter and learn more about volunteering.
If you like to garden, we have a 20×30 foot garden ready for you to show some TLC. The kids would benefit from a lesson or two on gardening from a green thumb!
Have your church, civic group, co-workers, or just a group of your friends hold a fund raiser for us, or help to collect donations of personal care items, office supplies, art supplies, etc.
Volunteer requirements: Must be 21 years or older (some exceptions for groups) and willing to abide by our behavior and confidentiality guidelines. Some volunteer opportunities require a background check accompanied by a $43 fee.
Open Door Youth Services has an advisory board that meets monthly. If you would like to be part of that board, please contact our board president Pam Prince at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Open Door Youth Services is very appreciative of grants from the Horseshoe Foundation of Floyd County, Kosair Foundation, Community Foundation of Southern Indiana, Ogle Foundation and all of its public and private donors.
*Donations and volunteers are always appreciated. To learn about making a donation or for volunteer opportunities, please contact our Community Liaison, Angela Graf at (812)948-5481 or Agraf@floydcounty.in.gov or visit our webpage at www.opendooryouthservices.com and click on volunteer opportunities. You can also find us on Facebook.
Open Door Youth Services is administered for public purposes under the jurisdiction of Floyd County Circuit Court. As a program of Floyd County, ODYS qualifies as an organization described in section 170(c) (1) of the Internal Revenue Service code. All contributions to ODYS are used exclusively for a public purpose and thereby tax exempt.
Friends of Open Door Youth Services is our 501 (C)(3) that does fundraising for Open Door Youth Services. They come up with unique and fun ways to raise funds for programs and outreach to Floyd County. If you would like to be part of Friends of Open Door Youth Services, please contact Dana Fendley or Angela Graf. This is a great way to be involved and help the youth in Floyd County.
Leah A. Pezzarossi -
New Directions, K.A.T.
Ph#812-948-5481 ext. 309
Teen Court Coordinator
Prevent Child Abuse Website
Indiana Youth Services Association