Programs 2016-11-29T14:42:12+00:00

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Youth Emergency Service


Youth Emergency Service

Founded in 1976, Youth Emergency service (YES) offers immediate housing and respite to youth facing housing insecurity or are unable to safely live with family. YES provides a safe, supportive environment, on-site medical care, education support, youth centered activities, links to resources and support to continue in school or get reconnected. Older youth are walking distance from the Achieving Independence Center (AIC). Yearly, YES provides these program aspects to more than 400 adolescent boys and girls between the ages of 12 and 17.

Youth can be self referred, enter through the formal child welfare system, Department of Human Services or through referrals from partner organizations throughout the county. Referrals come from family, school staff and other concerned persons.

The YES WAY – YES promotes social and emotional development with programming that uses trauma informed approaches in youth engagement. Youth are provided opportunities to build skills that can prove useful on their journey towards stability and success. The YES community commits to 4 values:

Mindfulness – we will create an environment where each of us promotes the self-worth and dignity of individuals through our works and actions
Safe and Open – we take responsibility for ensuring a safe, open, inclusive and welcoming environment
Accountability – we take ownership and we meet our identified commitments to each other
Development – we are committed to creating an environment that promotes personal and professional development

YES services include:

*Twenty four hour emergency respite and protection for youth ages 12-17;
*Telephone hotline and referral services as well as links to national runaway and homeless youth providers through national Runaway Safeline and National safe Place;
*Medical care – examinations and follow-up;
*Counseling supports and referrals;
*Voluntary and confidential HIV testing;
Linkage to The Attic for those wanting service for LGBTQ youth;
*Physical and sexual health information and supports;
*Referral to home based services for families;
*Education and recreation programming and supports;
*Title I tutoring

Youth Emergency Service
1526 Fairmount Avenue
Philadelphia, PA 19130

Tim Massaquoi, Director 215-787-0633, x1101

Basic Center Program

The Basic Center Program addresses the immediate crisis needs of youth from 12-17 who are not in the child welfare system. Many are without a permanent home. The goal of this program is to get the youth the supports and attention they need so that they can establish stability in housing and connect them to other critical supports, i.e., medical care, counseling, food. Youth do not have to reside at YES to benefit from these services.

The Basic Center Program works with housing insecure youth to:

Respond to immediate crisis needs with a safe place to stay and the resources to maintain as much stability in daily living as possible, i.e., continue attending school, work, medical care
Meet the youths immediate needs be they physical or emotional
With the youth as partner, identify relatives as potential resources and begin conflict mediation with family of origin
At all times, employ harm reduction, positive youth development and trauma informed and sensitive responses
Support youth in achieving a safe and stable living arrangement
Link the youth to after care supports at YES

For information about the Basic Center Program, or to inquire about resources, please contact Francine Williams, 215-787-0633, x1112; email To download a brochure with resources for youth experiencing housing insecurity please click here

Safe Place

YES is the local affiliate of National Safe Place which is a network of sites across the country to provide access to immediate help and supportive resources for all young people in crisis. Safe Place educates and engages the community on ways to recognize youth in need and how to connect them to resources including temporary shelter. There are a network of Safe Place sites throughout Philadelphia that have volunteers who can support and connect youth in need to YES. Look for the black and yellow signs. YSI has been a member of National Safe Place since 2007. For more information about the program or you would like to learn more about becoming a Safe Place site, please contact 215-787-0633, x112

Family Based Services and Parenting Education

Crittenton Family Support Center

The Crittenton Family Support Center, also housing the Sunnycrest Family Support Center, provides home-based services and supports to families who voluntarily request assistance. Family Empowerment Service (FES) provides trauma sensitive, community based support services for families. Case managers collaborate with families in their homes to observe, guide and monitor their children’s well being and help make connections to community based resources, often helping to coach the parent or caregiver to ensure maximum success in connecting to vital resources. Case managers work with families to achieve the goals of improved parenting skills and strengthening the family unit. Services are provided to families without cost. Please contact Bernice Andrews, 215-848-6200, x1012 or for more information.

Click here to download a flier with information about FES.

Truancy Prevention

Our Truancy Prevention Program works with students attending public and charter schools in the northwest area of Philadelphia. Youth in the program are considered truant based on the number of absences recorded by their school. They have 8 or more unexcused absences. Tier I is the first level of intervention designed to engage families early in the process and avert a referral to regional Truancy Court. Referrals to this program come directly from the School District of Philadelphia and Philadelphia’s Department of Human services. Case Managers make home and school visits to identify and alleviate the issues and factors leading to truancy. They also link to families to community resources that could support their child’s success in school. Families in this program are required to appear in Regional Truancy Court and can be referred to Family Court should the truancy issues not be remediated. To learn more, please contact Bernice Andrews at 215-848-6200, x1012 or

Parenting Education

Our Enhancing Parenting Program is a parenting education and support group that meets in cycles of 12, two hour sessions. The interactive curriculum focuses on: improving parents’ ability to identify, express, process and manage feelings; increase parents’ understanding of child development; increase parents’ understanding of the varied approaches to positive parenting including increased knowledge of nurturing and responsive parenting interactions. The groups also support parents in learning about and supporting their child’s educational needs.

Enrollment is open ended. YSI holds classes at agency locations or offers the program at area shelter. Participants include custodial and non-custodial parents, caregivers and individuals expecting their first child. For information, please contact Erica Makowski at 215-848-6200, x1028 or

Crisis Nurseries

In 1990 Youth Service, Inc. pioneered the crisis nursery model in Philadelphia when it established the Sally Watson Crisis Nursery in Germantown. Crisis Nurseries offer parents, grandparents and other caregivers safe, emergency, short term care for pre-school children at risk of harm or neglect. The crisis nursery model is founded on evidence that parental stress is directly related to child abuse and the centers exist to provide the additional support to the adult caregivers so that they can comfortably take care of activities related to their own and their children’s well being. Parents and caregivers use the Crisis Nurseries while managing family and medical emergencies, appointments, court, housing issues or other activities where they are unable to take young children with them. Families also use the Crisis Nurseries while searching for work, searching or waiting for regular day care and for respite from the demands of parenting.

There are two center, Baring House, located in West Philadelphia, provides care 24 hours each day; Sally Watson, in Germantown, provides care Monday through Friday from 6am to 7pm. Both centers are licensed by PA Department of Human Services.

The Crisis Nurseries have a long term impact by strengthening families through connections to community resources and supports, helping parents problem solve.

Services and resources include:

24 hour emergency care for children under the age of 6
Referrals and support for parents in distress
Referrals to parenting classes and resources to meet the family’s needs
Links to developmental assessments and services for children

Baring House
3401 Baring Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104

Sally Watson Center
5128 Wayne Avenue
Philadelphia, PA 19144

Youth Service, Inc.
410 N. 34th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104
Tel: 215-222-3262
Fax: 215-222-2352
Department / Program Directory