For six decades Bainbridge Youth Services has been the go-to-place for youth seeking help to meet the challenges they face every day.
Soon, BYS will expand to provide support for parents, too.
BYS has acquired Raising Resilience and its CONNECTIONS CAFÉ and will focus on parent education and support. Courtney Oliver, executive director, said many key stakeholders wanted to see this happen for a long time.
BYS has experienced a five-fold uptick in demand for services as levels of youth stress, anxiety and depression have increased. So, likewise, parental stress has increased.
“We started to see a need to provide services for parents and bringing Raising Resilience under the same program just made sense,” Oliver said. They will have separate buildings. “Raising Resilience will have a similar model to BYS, but will be located in a different building sometime in December because kids don’t want to see their parents at BYS.”
Raising Resilience and BYS are not strangers. They have had a longstanding relationship with crossover of leadership.
“This merger emphasizes prevention in addition to intervention and gets us closer to offering more comprehensive family support services,” Oliver said. “Together we are stronger. BYS has been serving youth for 60 years. Raising Resilience has been serving parents for 20 years. Together, that’s 80 years of combined service, experience, research and knowledge that we are building on.”
Though Raising Resilience has dissolved its nonprofit status, its programs will continue and new program manager Shannon Amelang will replace April Avey, the outgoing executive director, and will work under Oliver.
Offering parent support strengthens what BYS counselors are doing with youth, Oliver said. “Topics for Cafe Connections will address popular issues such as how to prepare for college, ABCs of talking to your kids, drug use and more.”
Dr. Terri Graham of Bainbridge is supportive of the merger and commented on the BYS Facebook page. “As a pediatrician, I love what both arms do—wrapping around the community, providing amazing services for our youth and their parents and family.”
In addition to CONNECTIONS CAFÉ, individual and group services for parents will eventually be available. BYS is open Mondays through Fridays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and is located at 8533 Madison Ave. N. For more go to askbys.org