Youth Services diverts youth from the juvenile justice system. It provides immediate intervention by engaging and motivating youth and families to access resources and resolve conflict.
Facts About Youth Services
- Provides 24-hour crisis counseling to youth and their families in order to keep the family together and to keep the youth from entering the juvenile justice system. Services are provided at no cost to the youth or family.
- A youth who is experiencing family problems, has run away, is beyond the control of his parents, or has committed other status offenses may access Youth Services.
- Parents and/or the youth can receive youth services without participating in the juvenile justice system.
- Upon arrival at the facility, demographic information is gathered and the youth is assessed to determine immediate risk factors, mental health needs, and alcohol and substance use.
- The following services are available at most Youth Service facilities:
- crisis counseling
- individual and family therapy
- group therapy
- parent and youth support and education groups
- referral to community agencies
- short-term voluntary residential placements
- Youth who cannot immediately go home may be allowed to stay at the Youth Services facility for up to 72 hours for additional counseling and assessment. Many situations are resolved after this brief stay.
- A family needing even greater assistance may be referred to a 60 day program, which is generally out patient. In this case, the youth may stay at the Youth Services facility for up to 14 days.
Youth Services is appropriate for youth who have a minor or non-existent delinquent history and have not been adjudicated.
Common questions about Youth Services
What is the definition of a runaway?
A youth that leaves home or another approved placement without parental consent.
What is an ungovernable youth?
A youth is ungovernable if they are under age 18 and fail to comply with reasonable requests of a parent or approved caregiver to the point the youth is beyond caregiver control.
Is runaway or ungovernable behavior against the law?
Legislation gives original jurisdiction over runaway and ungovernable youth to the Division of Juvenile Justice Services directly or through contract. This means that police can arrest youth for these offenses without the charge being referred to the Juvenile Court.
What is the age range for services?
What if my child refuses counseling?
You may consult with Youth Services to get ideas on parenting your ungovernable youth.
How long can Youth Services provide services to parent(s) and youth?
Crisis counseling and time out has no limits attached until the child’s eighteenth birthday. On-going community counseling services are limited to 60 calendar days, which amounts to seven to nine 45-50 minute sessions with a therapist or counselor. Time limits can be extended depending on the situation, and will be determined on a case-by-case basis.
How long can I leave my child at Youth Services?
The average length of stay for youth in crisis is generally 3 hours or less. If the counselor with whom you meet believes it is appropriate, additional time may be authorized.
My child says he/she wants to become emancipated. What is that and how does it work?
Emancipation means a person is legally declared an adult. In Utah, that occurs at age eighteen or at the time of a minor’s marriage, with consent of the parent(s) or legal guardian.
Youth Services Locations
Salt Lake County Youth Services Center (residential)
Salt Lake County Youth Services Center South (non residential)
Vantage Point Youth Services (residential)
Archway Youth Service Center (residential)
Davis Youth Services (nonresidential)
Iron County Youth Center
*Youth Service Programs are also operated out of Receiving Centers in the rural areas of the State and may provide many of the services offered by the above. See list of Receiving Centers for contact information.