Youth Advocacy Center


About the YARC

The Youth Assessment Center and Resource Center (YARC) is a model that provides critical prevention and early intervention assessment and case management services for youth and families who exhibit at –risk behaviors at home, at school and/or in the community. Our goal is to divert as many youth as possible from entering or going deeper into the juvenile justice system through early intervention screening and positive strategies tailored to address each youth and family’s individuals need.
Mission: The Youth Assessment and Resource Center is to assist Youth and families in addressing complex needs through early intervention, comprehensive assessment and referral to resources.

Vision: Diverting at risk youth and families by providing services and resources.


The Shelby County Assessment & Resource Center concept was derived from several different Assessment Center models around the Country. Specifically, Denver, CO, Miami, FL and Calcasieu Parish, LA.  The working group which consisted of individuals who represented a variety of government entities, universities and non-profit organizations helped to create the framework for the Assessment Center. While designing the framework the group conducted site visits, completed extensive research in coordination with technical assistance from the Department of Justice/OJJDP assigned provider CCAS. Prior to the resolution passing approving the contract with the YARC a new Framework is being developed under the Mayor’s Administration and the Office of Community Services office of Justice Initiatives. The YARC 19 Framework will be available soon for review.

Key Juvenile Justice Facts

The majority of youth involved with the justice system have experienced traumatic events, with at least 75% having experienced traumatic victimization.

65% to 70% of justice involved youth has a diagnosable mental health disorder, and nearly 30% of those experience severe mental health disorders.

Significant disproportionate minority contact relative rate index (3.94) of minority youth being referred to court.

4,829 juvenile summons issued in 2015, 3,906 summons were issued in 2016.

From January 20018 until December of 2018 over 3,000 youth received summons for offenses eligible for the Assessment Center programmatic opportunities.

Contact Us

Youth Assessment Center Manager:
Jamal Whitlow