|Our mission is to strengthen families and communities by empowering youth (7-21) to resolve conflicts and overcome obstacles in order to become successful students and contributing adults.
The primary service area for CYS includes Inglewood, Hawthorne, Lawndale, Gardena, Carson and adjacent LA County communities in Florence-Firestone, West Athens, Lennox and south central Los Angeles. CYS provides Families Able to Resolve Situations (FARS), Victim Offender Restitution Services (VORS) and Students Able to Resolve Situations (STARS) Club in five school districts. Because of its success in serving juvenile offenders, the VORS service area was increased to countywide at the request of the Presiding Judge of the Juvenile Court in 1996. VORS operates countywide from Palmdale at the north to Long Beach at the south.
CYS youth mediation programs have received acknowledgement from the California Legislature, City Councils of our five participating cities. Nearly sixteen years ago the LA County Probation Department Presiding Judge of the Juvenile Courts selected CYS to operate a countywide Restorative Justice program in connection with the Collaboration Oversight Team. State Attorney General Bill Lockyer named the CYS Director to a Taskforce to help develop the State Safe School Plan. CYS gained national recognition in 2000 when CYS was asked to participate in the U.S. Safe Cities Network. The Judicial Council of California recognized the CYS VORS program as a model victim/offender mediation program that is proven to reduce recidivism by 50%. LA County Board of Supervisors awarded CYS "most outstanding staff" three years in a row; "most outstanding volunteer mediator" twelve different years; and "most outstanding peer mediator" five consecutive years. CYS was selected to partner with the UCLA/RAND Center for Adolescent Health in a major National Institute of Health Community Research grant. CYS was also recognized as meeting the minimum requirements for inclusion in the National Registry of Evidenced-based Practices and Policies of the Department of Health and Human Services (final inclusion selection still in process).