Building Bridges Initiative

Youth Development Institute's Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) Program has demonstrated success for youth and families with previous out-of-home treatment failures or for whom previous wrap-around services have failed. The BBI Program is designed to support successful discharge and reintegration into home and community after placement in a YDI residential program. Home-based counseling services (service code 140), plus family support (service code 160) and family advocacy (service code 162) and, optionally, medication monitoring (service code 126) are the combined services identified as YDI's Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) Program under the Arizona Supreme Court contract with YDI.

BBI Program services are provided by a team consisting of a master’s level therapist (the youth's residential therapist) and two Youth Care Workers (YCWs) specially trained to work with the individual youth both in residence at YDI and in the home, neighborhood and community. BBI Program services are initially provided in the home with the youth and family while the youth continues to reside at YDI. These services are included in the daily residential contract rate (for service codes 116 or 103) until discharge. YDI’s BBI Program forms the bridge between residential placement and home, it is designed to support and facilitate the transfer of the skills and strategies learned in residential to the home environment. It provides parents with coaching and education to positively manage the youth in the home and community. This support allows parents and youth to deal with real family issues in the actual home environment and to stabilize the home and family relationships.
The BBI program is intended to provide a minimum of 30 days of support and services post-discharge and to transfer services to community outpatient providers within 90 days.

Youth referred and funded by the Court are screened for BBI Program participation during the initial assessment period of residential placement. This assessment identifies strengths, weaknesses and individual and family treatment objectives in concert with the CFT process, probation and/or DCS case plan and YDI's Individual Development Plan (IDP). Program participants will be those youth with an identified family or other guardians with whom he or she could potentially and permanently reside. Youth are included in the BBI Program if the parents/guardians are willing to learn ways to adjust their parenting style to better address the challenges presented by the youth. Parents/guardians should also be willing to allow members of the BBI team into their home for extended periods of time.


Youth Development Institute (YDI) operates the Chaperon Program, a therapeutic day program for juvenile sex offender clients who no longer require residential placement and have returned home prior to completing a sex offender treatment program. Optionally, and frequently, this program serves as a diversion from residential placement. YDI’s Chaperon Program provides intensive supervision and monitoring of youth who reside in the community while receiving specialized treatment and continued therapeutic support to maintain treatment gains. These youth usually live at home and attend their neighborhood public school. The Chaperon Program provides up to five hours of supervision and services per day up to seven days per week, including transportation and meals. The program provides transportation to the program from home or school and provides transportation home after completion of the day's sessions. A minimum of 3 hours per day are provided for programming which includes Family, Group and Individual Counseling, and Psychoeducational Groups.

Youth Development Institute’s (YDI) Chaperon Program is home, school, and community-based allowing maximum flexibility for individualized programming. Each youth receiving services is assigned to a Chaperon caseworker. A Chaperon caseworker is a specially trained behavioral health technician. The chaperon may supervise approximately six to eight youth in the community, depending on the levels of service required by each.

Services are provided in small groups, with the family, or individually, depending on the location, the youth’s Individual Development Plan (IDP) and weekly schedule. Family hours may include family therapy with a clinician or hours spent in the home by the caseworker with family members and the client. Clients in the therapeutic day program participate in up to 4 Journey Group counseling sessions each week with YDI clinicians as well as continue Journey assignments and Keys to Innervisions group sessions each day.

Each youth maintains a regular weekly schedule of daily events and activities as part of his IDP. School, employment or community service, recreation, fitness and family activities are all included in the weekly schedule in addition to the regularly scheduled YDI program sessions. Schedules are planned in advance with the Chaperon caseworker and in cooperation with the youth’s family. Schedules include small group activities with other members of the program, such as a trip to a ball game or a community service activity. The Chaperon caseworker schedules time in the home with the family, for example, on Saturday to assist in structuring the home chores or at the dinner hour to model appropriate family interaction. While with the family in the home, the Chaperon caseworker assists in providing structure, safety and support for the family, noting any needs for additional assistance or training. The clinician or caseworker would make referrals for services or link the family with agencies that would provide case management. The caseworker also arranges for the community service hours and ensures compliance with probation rules and provides supervision for the recreational activities.

Services Provided

Using a standard battery of assessment instruments (MMPI, Woodcock-Johnson, Trauma Symptoms Checklist for Children) and clinical evaluations, youth undergo a comprehensive assessment and evaluation upon admission to YDI, including compilation and review of existing records. This comprehensive assessment will be used to formulate the Individual Development Plan (IDP) that will guide delivery of services in all other areas. In addition, these assessments provide a baseline by which progress in treatment may be objectively measured.

In addition to the standard admission assessments, YDI Journey clinicians conduct specialized assessments of sexual history and interest, including the Abel Screen of Sexual Interest, Abel Sexual Inventory and the J-SOAP-II. The J-SOAP-II is a checklist developed to review risk factors that have been identified in the professional literature as being associated with sexual offending for males between the ages of 12 and 18 years old. During the course of treatment, evaluations also include polygraph examinations to encourage full disclosure of offense behavior and sexual history, as well as to verify non-offending behavior while in treatment.

Youth in the Journey Chaperon Program participate in one hour and thirty minutes of group counseling up to four times a week. These groups are led by Master’s level Clinicians with specialized training in working with juveniles who have sexual behavior problems. Group Counseling emphasizes peer-helping and uses a cognitive behavioral approach. Youth are guided, by use of the Pathways workbook and other cognitive-behavioral techniques, to examine issues surrounding their sexually abusive behavior, including developing victim empathy, controlling deviant sexual urges, avoiding triggers, interrupting distorted thinking and the offense cycle, and developing positive sexuality.

Youth participate in individual counseling with clinicians as indicated by a youth’s IDP. It is specifically anticipated that youth participate in a minimum of one hour of individual counseling each month as an adjunct to Group Counseling.

Unless contraindicated, youth and families participate in Family Counseling as specified in the youth’s IDP. A family systems approach, emphasizing developing appropriate supervision and boundaries within the home, is emphasized. It is specifically anticipated that most families will have a minimum of two hours of family counseling each month with weekly telephone contact by the therapist as an adjunct to counseling sessions.

In partnership with Essential Theatre, YDI offers training and participation in psychodrama as an adjunct to the treatment process for youth in the Journey program. Members of the theater company provide Playback Theatre, experience and training in psychodrama and role-playing techniques for both youth and staff.

Skills Training is integrated with both the psychoeducational program and the therapeutic recreation program, in addition to daily groups led by Chaperon caseworkers. Using Keys to Innervisions as primary curricula, Skills Training focuses on developing the competencies and skills needed to live successfully as a productive citizen in our society. Activities of daily living are also used as formats for teaching and training in communication, interpersonal skills, anger management, impulse control, self-regulation and teamwork. If assigned to the program on weekends, the caseworkers assist youth in selecting recreational activities and locations that meet probation guidelines.

The primary curriculum for the Journey Program is the Pathways workbook published by Safer Society Press and/or other workbooks by the same author, Timothy Kuhn, (such as Roadmaps or Footprints) if these versions are more developmentally appropriate.

The Pathways workbook is now in its Fourth Edition, published in 2011 by Safer Society Press and incorporates the current "practice wisdom" for working with youth with sexual behavior problems. The Pathways workbook is a Cognitive Behavioral approach that is widely used with youth who have sexual behavior problems.

The curriculum is divided into three primary goals: Honesty, Understanding, and Transitions. Clinical staff will also be responsible to develop additional individualized treatment goals specific to the problem areas/ needs of each youth. Implementation of the Pathways Guidelines is not intended to be a "one size fits all", but is to be individualized to address primary treatment needs for youth with sexual behavior problems.

Alumni Meetings

Alumni Meetings are once a month with a schedule available at the front desk, for when they will be, or posted on the YDI Facebook page. Alumni Meetings are for former clients to visit, get advice, and/or get encouragement for positive living. The meetings are held in the Modular Building behind the sports court except for the one in June, which is the Alumni Luncheon, which is held in the cafeteria. Food and drink is provided for all meetings. The meetings are from 6-7PM except for the meeting in June. The Alumni Luncheon will have an invitation mailed to the alumni unless our address list is wrong then they can read about when it is on the Facebook page. Unfortunately, YDI cannot provide transportation to these meetings. No weapons, alcohol, or drugs are allowed on campus.