Since its inception in 1981, the Youth Encouragement Services (YES) Home, Aurora, has served about 2,000 youth, reports director Cathy Piche and program coordinator Amy Phillips.
It was established “by a concerned group of citizens with the intent to provide a homelike atmosphere for abused and neglected children and to house runaways in need of help,” Piche reveals. Its mission is “to provide a safe and nurturing environment for children who are unable to live at home or have no home to go to.”
Phillips notes, “We can serve youth (ages 8-18) from anywhere in the state of Indiana,” but most come from Dearborn and Ripley counties, including Batesville. On Dec. 16, there were six kids at the home. “Last week we had 10. Over the Thanksgiving holiday, we had two emergency placements when families were disrupted.
“We are both an emergency and long-term care facility.” Some children just stay overnight, and others stay for over a year. It depends on their needs. “Some of our youth have great families that just need some time to heal, and some ... have no family, either due to incarceration, death or rights being terminated. Each is different and has his/her own story. We do our best to meet the need” of the individuals and families, the director points out.
Six full-time and six part-time staff members “provide for the daily care ... (of the residents), as well as role modeling and teaching them how to function in a positive way.” They facilitate groups with the students, including life skills such as budgeting and cooking, as well as how to deal with emotions in a positive way. “Our staff are dedicated to helping ... (them) reach their potential and to help them recognize who they are, what they are capable of and to begin the journey toward becoming independent, productive, caring adults.”