In 1989, Judge Steven Caldemeyer took a look at the Delaware County Children’s home and he didn’t like what he saw. Too few staff members were serving too many children. The facility was in a state of disrepair. Kids weren’t getting the help they needed. So he set about looking for a solution.
Judge Caldemeyer and several local youth advocates visited various facilities throughout the country in search of a model that combined fiscal responsibility, organizational efficiency and strong therapeutic strategies for children. Quickly, they realized no such model yet existed. So a fundraising board was established, and in July of 1992, the YOC accepted its first kids in its residential treatment programs.
“Our goal was to combine all of the services designed to help children in one location,” CEO Rick Rowray said. “That included treatment programs, court, schools, detention, probation officers and more. The idea was to streamline communication and be more effective at meeting families’ needs.”
Twenty years later, that strategy has been an unqualified success. “Having all youth service agencies on one campus has increased continuity of care for the kids and families.” Rowray continued. “Our ultimate goal was to provide easy access to youth services, and i believe this has been accomplished.”
today, the YoC serves more than 40 Indiana counties, assisting youth and their families with the ultimate goal of reunifying children with their parents. “it has been amazing to watch the development of the YoC over the years,” Judge Caldemeyer said. “Witnessing the growth of the treatment programs and the professionals leading the organization has been remarkable.”
YOC continues to strive for excellence, adhering to standards set by the highest accrediting bodies within the behavioral health and psychological professions. YOC also strongly values feedback from families, gathering outcome reports to objectively review the programs and services provided.
“An anonymous satisfaction survey completed by parents has averaged over 96 percent of families satisfied with the services provided at YoC.” Caldemeyer said. “I truly believe the YoC is making a huge impact with our kids and families and providing hope for the future.”
Although Caldemeyer recently retired from his role at YOC, Rick Rowray and other highly credentialed staff continue to develop and enhance its programming. “our focus is on providing quality services and programs to the most at-risk populations,” Rowray said.
“The kids today present behavioral challenges and psychological issues that can make daily programming difficult,” he continued. “But we have always been dedicated to doing everything we can to support the people on the front lines working with the kids. We support them and help them do their jobs, because they’re doing the most important work of anyone. They are changing kids’ lives.”