Contact Us

Division of Youth Services
3418 Knipp, Suite A-1 
P.O. Box 447
Jefferson City, MO 65102-0447

(573) 751-3324

(573) 526-4494

Web page:

Missouri Treatment Philosophies

Humane Environment - Youth are viewed as the agency’s most important resource. It is the responsibility of the agency to provide a healthy, therapeutic, and nonjudgmental environment within which change may take place. The uniqueness of each individual youth is recognized and valued. The basic rights to food, shelter, education, recreation, health care, and counseling provided in a safe environment are fundamental.

Least Restrictive Environment - The least restrictive environment should be provided to all youth. The movement of a child from his/her home to a more restrictive setting is considered serious and such movement is evaluated through administrative checks and balances.

Group Treatment - Group treatment is the primary method of providing treatment services within the agency. Behavior is oftentimes seen as a symptom rather than the problem, and resistance to change is considered, at times, a healthy response to an unhealthy situation. It is believed that youth behaviors exist for particular reasons, and determining the purpose of the behavior is essential in the treatment process.

Systems Approach - We believe in a systemic approach to the treatment of youth. In this view, individual behaviors are given meaning in consideration of the context in which they occur. That context includes the individual personality system, the family of origin, the community, and the greater culture of which a person is a member. Treatment plans and service delivery reflect the systemic approach.

Neutrality - All treatment activities should proceed from a stance that respects the inherent value and potential of every person. A position of therapeutic neutrality is consistent with the systemic approach and provides the basis to maintain positive regard for people recognizing that they are more than just their behaviors. Such a stance also recognizes that human processes are reciprocal and needs seeking and disallows bias, side taking, and blaming.

Family Perspective - The agency views the family unit as a system and intervenes in ways to keep the system intact and reinforce the influence of the parents. All services are coordinated with and cognizant of the family role and importance.

Individual Treatment Planning - Treatment planning is essential to the identification and delivery of services for youth while they are with the DYS. With the involvement of both the needs, determination of core issues, and strategies designed to assist the youth in dealing with these issues. Every attempt is made to individualize the student’s treatment program. Youth in residential treatment facilities work at an individual pace and are released from those facilities when it is in the youth’s and communities best interest.

Diversity - All programs, services, and personnel must honor and respect the diversity of the youth and families served. Emphasis on diversity awareness and education is encouraged as an ongoing process.

Case Management - A seamless case management system has been developed to provide the assessment, treatment planning, coordination, monitoring and evaluation of services. A needs and risk assessment assists the case manager in determining the most appropriate services for the youth. The assessment takes into account all pertinent factors involving the youth’s delinquent history while identifying the general treatment needs. The case manager serves as the primary advocate for youth and their family.