Cowlitz County Youth Services partners with AmeriCorps who provides our agency with a Community Service Coordinator to develop and manage our Youth Community Service Program.
Currently youth who have broken the law are court ordered to perform community service work. The vast majority of the time this is done on a work crew performing a wide variety of jobs at county facilities. While this solution has merit in some cases, we believe that connecting youth with community members at community sites is a more effective means to address the factors noted above. This arrangement would give the youth the opportunity to gain skills, fill unstructured time, give back to the community, observe and interact with role models, participate in some reparation to victims of crime and be a part of their community. It is believed that this exposure will increase the individual youth’s protective factors and in doing so lessen the odds that they will reoffend and in the least provide them with some important life skills. Likewise it gives the community members the opportunity to interact with youth in a positive way.
Youth who are ordered to complete community service can be referred by their Probation Counselor to the Community Service Program. Once the referral has bee completed, our Community Service Officer will meet with the youth and parent/guardian to complete paperwork and opportunities for work. Cowlitz County Youth Services partners with several agencies, nonprofits, and events in the community where youth can be assigned based on interest and availability.
Youth involved with the Community Service Program are expected to treat community service like they would a job; be professional, follow the rules, and be prepared for work. If youth are "fired" or removed from their community service host site they could be facing a probation violation.
Youth and parent/guardian must complete the following paperwork AND pay a $10 insurance fee (payments accepted at Cowlitz County Youth Services).