Youth Assistance Program (YAP)

The Southern Downriver Youth Assistance Program (SDYAP) is a juvenile delinquency prevention and diversion program for youth at risk of entering the juvenile justice system due to a first time minor offense. First time minor offenses often include: incorrigibility, curfew violation, minor in possession or alcohol or tobacco, possession of marijuana, truancy from home or school, driving without a license, disorderly conduct, trespassing, retail fraud, destruction of property, or assault. Referrals to the program often come from school officials, police departments, 3rd judicial court, Right TRAC, parents, youth or other concerned persons.


The program provides youth with the knowledge and skills to make healthy choices and become responsible young adults through the following components:


Didactic group: This is a twelve-week group that addresses topics such as effective communication, anger management, healthy relationships, drugs and alcohol, goal-setting, and healthy decision making. Groups typically run from 4:30 to 6:00 Monday through Thursday.


Individual weekly meeting with resource coordinator: Each youth enrolled in the program meets with his/her RC weekly to check in on program compliance and overall behavior.


Recreation events and field trips: There are scheduled events each month that allow the youth to experience different social and cultural activities.


Service learning projects: Service learning is an integral part of the program. Each youth is required to complete a designated number of hours of service learning. These hours are decided by the program team and are discussed and agreed upon by the youth and parents during the intake process. Each youth is given options as to which projects they would like to use to achieve their service learning requirements.


Population Served

Youth who are between the ages of 7 and 17 years old who reside in the following cities: Allen Park, Melvindale, Lincoln Park, Trenton, Southgate, Woodhaven, Brownstown, Ecorse, River Rouge, Huron Township, Gibraltar, Riverview, Flat Rock, Grosse Ile, and Rockwood. In addition, SDYAP serviced youth from Wyandotte and Taylor who are referred through the Right TRAC program. Approximately 350 youth participate in YAP each year.


For more information, please contact Kevin Carleton at or at at 734-785-7705 x7221.

Skip to content