Youth and Family Teams (YFT)

What Is Youth and Family Teams (YFT)?

Children and adolescents experiencing serious emotional disturbance often have very complicated plans from several different systems.  Youth and Family Teams (YFT) eagerly provides assistance that will help the family and child coordinate their services and supports in a way that empowers them to meet their needs as they define them.  Youth and Family Teams is a structured, team-based process that uses an evidence-based, nationally-recognized model that partners with families to use their unique voice and strengths to develop a family-driven plan that promotes self advocacy.

What We Do

The goals of the YFT process include:

  • Creating a plan to help meet the behavioral health needs prioritized by the youth and family
  • Improving the youth and family’s ability to manage their own services and supports
  • Developing and strengthening the youth and family’s natural social support system over time
  • Integrating the work of all child-serving systems and natural supports into one organized and effective plan

This process is intended to keep families together in their own homes by teaching them a way to plan for their own needs.

A Unique Team

The YFT team is responsible for identification, assessment and development of support plans for

individuals with high needs and includes:

  • FACILITATOR – guides the YFT process and teaches the family how to self-advocate and build upon natural supports.
  • FAMILY SUPPORT PARTNER (FSP) – a parent who has gone through similar struggles with their own family and as a result, has knowledge of the various systems and is able to provide support to other parents.
  • YOUTH SUPPORT PARTNER (YSP) – a young adult who has overcome his/her own life challenges as a youth and now acts as a mentor and advocate for the child to help them find their voice.


Youth and Family Teams serves children, adolescents and young adults who reside within Chester County. To inquire about eligibility and funding for Youth and Family Teams, please contact the Chester County  office.

How to Obtain Services

Anyone can make a referral for Youth and Family Teams:

  • Family Members
  • Teachers/Counselors
  • Social Workers/Case Managers
  • Mental Health Workers
  • Hospitals/Physicians

Support Operation Joy

A not-for-profit, faith based agency dedicated to building communities and strengthening families.