The Governor's Budget was released today and the news is dire:

YSBS were obliterated with a complete cut of the enhancement line item of $620,000.00 and $700,000.00 was cut from of the Cost Sharing Grant line item from SDE. A total loss of 1.3 million dollars for YSBs.
YSBs were moved  from SDE Management to be under the management of DCF!

Plan of Action:

  • All YSB directors MUST contact their legislators ASAP and encourage YSB constituents ( parents & kids, police, and school systems) to make contact with legislators ASAP as well! 
  • Phone calls and emails should begin today - it only takes 3 - 5 contacts to get a legislator's attention to an issue. The message is simple - YSBs are integral to the communities they serve and the state as a whole.
  • The SDE Budget Hearing is set for Tuesday March 3, 2015 at 5pm. Time windows to draw numbers for testifying are: 9:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. & 10:15 to 1:00 p.m.  (Anybody can pull a number to sign up during these time frames & students have a separate sign-up sheet that is non-lottery, first come first  serve).  Testifiers must provide 30 copies of each piece of testimony. You can also submit testimony ahead of time if you are unable to attend the hearing.  


  • Proposed cuts:  $1.3 million dollar cut to YSBs (which includes the entire Enhancement Grant Line Item currently in the budget at $620,000 and an approximately $700,000 cut in the Cost Sharing grant that YSBs receive for being a YSB); and a move of the YSB system out of SDE into DCF, which is problematic, especially due to a data system we have worked on for years using school outcomes as a measure of success for those youth YSBs serve (which would be lost with a move).

    • In 1978, Public Act 78-183 of the Connecticut General Statutes (C.G.S.) established Youth Service Bureaus (YSBs). A YSB is defined as an agency operated directly by one or more municipalities, or a private agency designated to act as an agent of one or more municipalities, for the purpose of evaluating, planning, coordinating and implementing services, including prevention and intervention programs for delinquent, pre-delinquent, pregnant, young parents and troubled youth .
    • The statute further states that YSBs shall be the coordinating unit of community-based services to provide a comprehensive delivery of prevention and intervention, treatment and follow-up services. (See C.G.S. 10-19m).
    • The RBA Reporting Framework: In FY 2011-12, the statewide implementation of the YSB/RBA data collection method took place. As a result of earlier piloting and the coordinated efforts of several agencies to strengthen accountability within the Juvenile Review Board (JRB) program, a third survey has been added for FY 2013-14, specific to youth participating in the JRB process.
    • 102 YSBs are funded by SDE and provide services in over 145 Connecticutcommunities. YSBs reported having referred or diverted over 26,000 children and youth and in addition over 448,000 youth and parents participated in YSB Programs over the past 2 years.
    • Sixty-five percent of the funds that support YSBs are from the local municipalities’ both direct (57 %) and in-kind (8 %) contributions. The state-funded YSBs reported combined available funding of $29,709,937, which includes municipal and in-kind contributions and a variety of other funds YSBs leveraged beyond the basic state grants.
    •  The state appropriation includes a base State Education Award of $2,989,268 and $620,000 enhancement state funding. Total approximately: 3.1 Million Dollars
    • YSBs receive referrals from community, regional and state service providers, parents/guardians and the youth themselves. The issues presented to YSBs are complex and often require a network of services. YSBs annually track referral information that is then used to assist in developing programs and activities.
    • Contribution to the Result: YSBs provide direct services designed to provide supports and build assets for youth, including special populations such as justice involved youth, youth with mental health needs, other youth at risk, and youth needing services to enhance their education and career advancement.
    • Partners: State Department of Education, Department of Labor, Court Support Services Division, the Department of Social Services, Department of Children and Families, Department of Mental Health & Addiction Services, municipal departments, law enforcement agencies, parents, local non-profits, faith-based organizations, school districts, & Regional Action Councils.
    • In the last five years, the YSBs have increased their services in many areas. Most notable is a doubling of the number served in after-school programs and a 134 percent increase in the number served in positive youth development programs. A total of 40,483 individuals who each received20 or more hours of services were served last year, many individuals often received multiple services, and a significant amount received services as part of a diversion from the juvenile justice system. The actual mix of services offered depends largely on the needs of the individual communities.
    • There are roughly 74 JRBs across the state serving approximately 104 towns All but 5 are run by YSBs (3 are fully funded through DCF in 3 cities, 1 is run by a PD (with YSB partnership) and 1 is run by Human Services (with YSB partnership).
    • *Detailed Reports can be found on www.ctyouthservices.org/publications (Report to Connecticut General Assembly December 2013 & SDE Report Card)
  •  Below is a planned statement released by CYSA in response to the proposed cuts and moving YSBs from the management of SDE to DCF:

    “The Connecticut Youth Services Association is first and foremost concerned with the devastating effects, both long term and short term, which the proposed deep budget cuts for Youth Service Bureaus will have on our youth and families. We are also deeply concerned about the impact these cuts will have on the ability of YSBs to leverage additional funding. We are further unable to rectify how the placement of YSBs under the management of the Department of Children & Families will result in greater efficiencies, cost savings, enhanced service delivery, or better outcomes in Connecticut’s communities. CYSA also fails to see evidence which supports any significant and impactful budgetary savings in the proposed budget plan.”  

To find your legislator click on Quick  Links on our homepage. 
Unsure of where to start? Log on to CYSA's website for some advocacy tips at: https://www.ctyouthservices.org/Advocacy
Want some additional support? Have more questions? Email the Advocacy Committee using this email (cysa@ctyouthservices.org.) You can also reach out to our Board President (contact info below) or your Chapter Representative for help.

Barbara A. Lockhart, MS
President, Connecticut Youth Services Association
Director of Youth Services
Town of Montville
289 Route 32
Uncasville, CT. 06382
860 848-7724 Ext. 116
860 848-4058 Fax

Norwich Bulletin - Juvenile Review Board: Troubled Children Get Second Chance
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