Youth & Family Services

The Youth and Family Services (YFS) unit is an innovative program serving the citizens of Arcata since the late 1970s. This program offers a broad range of services focusing on troubled teens and youth, parenting strong–willed kids, and school safety matters. 

Juvenile Diversion Unit

The Arcata Police Department offers the opportunity for juveniles who have committed a crime to defer a criminal record while completing tasks consequential to the crime. A successful completion of requirements results in the juvenile being diverted from the justice system, dismissal of charges, and the avoidance of a criminal record. Program requirements include restitution, community service, drug testing, and referrals for treatment, counseling, and participation in the Boys and Girls Club Teen Court. 

Assistance for parents struggling with troubled and strong-willed teens is also available through Juvenile Diversion. Parenting courses and coaching are available for families challenged by truancy, lying, curfew, poor grades, attitude, running away, destructive peer groups, and violence. Parents are encouraged to contact the Juvenile Diversion Counselors for assistance. The Parent Project®, a 10-week educational course, is offered twice a year, and one-on-one coaching is available by request.

Families are also connected with local professional groups providing anger management courses, alcohol and other drug intervention and treatment, family/individual therapy, legal/family law services, and educational resources.