Youth Villages stories

Nonprofit launches in-home counseling program in Franklin County; hosting open house March 1

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (Feb. 27, 2018) – Youth Villages, a provider of children’s mental and behavioral health services, today announced it has expanded services to Franklin County in Ohio, which includes the Columbus metro area.

Youth Villages Ohio will provide the YVIntercept intensive in-home services program to an average of 40 children and families on any given day in Franklin County through a partnership with Franklin County Children Services. The organization was awarded a contract for the initial one-year pilot program through a competitive procurement process. Youth Villages will collaborate with FCCS and other local providers to help safely reduce the number of youth in state custody by moving them into permanency.

Columbus resident Dawn Puster, LCSW, LISW-S, will lead the new office as state manager. She has more than 15 years of experience in direct care and leadership at Youth Villages, including startup of new programs and delivery of YVIntercept.

“We are excited for the opportunity to partner with Franklin County Children Services to provide a collaborative approach for helping kids and families in our community,” Puster said. “Our hope is that through work with local providers, Youth Villages will help successfully reunify children with their families, divert youth from entering state custody and reduce the need for out-of-home placements.”

Youth Villages Ohio began helping children and families in January and will employ about 13 staff members; most will be family intervention specialists working with families of troubled children in their homes multiple times per week, with 24/7 on-call availability and face-to-face interventions to help families deal with crisis situations when needed.

An employment open house will take place March 1 from 2 to 4 p.m. at the Youth Villages Ohio office located at 150 E. Wilson Bridge Road, suite 55 in Worthington. For more information about available positions and qualifications, call 615-203-4802.

“Our focus on strengthening families consistently produces about an 80 percent success rate of children living successfully at home even after two years of completing a Youth Villages program,” Puster said. “We anticipate seeing the same success through our work in Franklin County.”

About Youth Villages

Youth Villages is a national leader in children’s mental and behavioral health. Founded in 1986, the organization helps more than 25,000 children annually through programs that involve intensive work with the child and family, as well as a focus on measuring outcomes; keeping children in the community whenever safely possible; and providing accountability to families and funders. With locations in 14 states and 74 locations, Youth Villages’ continuum of programs includes intensive in-home services; residential treatment; foster care and adoption; YVLifeSet for transition-age youth; mentoring; and crisis services. The organization has been recognized by the Harvard Business School and U.S. News & World Report, and was identified by The White House as one of the nation’s most promising results-oriented nonprofit organizations. Learn more at