After an extensive examination of services, personnel, and documentation, Western Plains Youth & Family Services (WPYFS) received their 5th renewal of national accreditation from Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF).
This independent accreditor of health and human services recognized WPYFS for their success in improving quality of lives of the people they serve.
“It was 15 years ago we started CARF. It’s a big process to get through. CARF is three days and three auditors and they dive into you pretty deep,” Executive Director Kevin Evans said. “CARF accreditation sets the “gold standard” for organizations like WPYFS who assist young people and families with behavioral problems.”
WPYFS is also a Certified Healthy Business, a designated youth service agency, and is listed as the Oklahoman’s 25th Best Place to Work in the state among small businesses.
“This is a tribute to our dedicated staff and board of directors who are committed to serving the young people and families in Northwestern Oklahoma,” Evans said.
In 2018, WPYFS helped 124 clients through the Wraparound Services Program reducing contact with law enforcement by almost 67 percent, self-harming incidents by 54 percent, substance abuse by 47 percent, and school days missed by almost 14 percent, as reported to the Department of Mental Health.
The Wraparound Services Program includes a whole team working with the whole family, even providing families with nutritional help. Evans said these families are pretty dynamic family units where they may be working with siblings and even aunts and uncles.
“It's a big process. Huge process. Once you start working with the family, they got a team helping them out,” Evans said. “When a family comes to work with us, we just don’t assign one person to them. They've got a therapist, a care coordinator, a family support provider, a wellness coach, and anything else. It might be a mentor, might be a tutor, might be whatever else the family would benefit from, we try to put that whole team together around the family.”
WPYFS helps to reduce contact with law enforcement and helps decrease school days missed by working with law enforcement and school officials.
“That's a big step for us. That's an important step, actually. You know, if you can decrease that, that helps tremendously,” Evans stated. “We go to court with the kids, with the family. Like I say we dive in pretty deep. It's a process to gain their trust for them to want our help. And what we're seeing is the vast majority of the families we work with get better. It's amazing.”
WPYFS helps reduce instances of self-harm as well.
“What we see is a lot of cutting. That really scares us when we see that,” Evans said.
WPYFS new 24/7 Mobile Crisis Unit responds to emergency situations.
“That's when a person is experiencing a crisis,” Evans said. “We have people that are available and on call 24/7 that can either visit with them by phone or if they need to, they’ll go see them. And that's what the mobile crisis unit is, is people on-call helping that person navigate whatever that crisis is.”
WPYFS is a non-profit organization supported by contributions, and various governmental reimbursement programs.
“We have a contract with Office of Juvenile Affairs, a contract with Department of Human Services, and a contract with Department of Mental Health,” Evans explained. “But that does not come close to covering the cost of delivering programs. So we do depend on our communities to help.”
For more information on Western Plains Youth & Family Services, you can look them up on Facebook or call 580-254-5322.