Tidewater Youth Services Commission
(Formerly known as Tidewater Regional Group Home Commission)
Youth and families facing enormous challenges in life need the help of an agency with experience, competence, integrity, and compassion to assist them on their journey. For forty-two years, the Tidewater Youth Services Commission has provided leadership and vision in delivering effective, evidence-based services.
The Tidewater Youth Services Commission is a public agency that was formed in 1977 under a charter agreement signed by the city managers and county administrators of seven Hampton Roads localities (Chesapeake, Franklin, Portsmouth, Suffolk, and Virginia Beach and the counties of Isle of Wight and Southampton). It was created as a separate unit of local government to operate a system of group homes and programs that provide services to juvenile clients for the participating jurisdictions.
The Commission operates under the authority granted to it in Sections 16.1-315 through 16.1-322 of the Code of Virginia. The Code specifies the make-up of the Commission and the terms of office for the members of the Board of Directors. According to the Code, the cities of Virginia Beach, Chesapeake, Portsmouth and Suffolk are allotted two members on the Commission Board. The city of Franklin and the counties of Isle of Wight and Southampton are allotted one member each. The Commission’s Board of Directors supervises the Executive Director, approves the operating budgets for programs and the administrative office, sets policy for the operations of the programs and generally oversees the operation of all programs and services. As part of the regional cooperative agreement, the Commission functions as the fiscal agent for Virginia Juvenile Community Crime Control Act (VJCCCA) programs for our member cities and counties. We prepare the regional plan, complete all required client data and fiscal reports and operate the programs.
In addition to serving our seven member localities, the Commission also provides services for Norfolk, Hampton, and Newport News. We maintain a fee for service structure to allow localities maximum flexibility when choosing which services most meet their needs. As a public agency, our fees are based entirely on our projected operating costs and projected utilization and we are recognized for our tradition of providing highly effective, evidence-based programming at a reasonable cost. We provide services under VJCCCA, local court funding, Comprehensive Services Act (CSA), Department of Juvenile Justice Regional Service Coordinator, grants, and Mental Health Initiative funds. Additionally, the Commission provides many specialized services under Memoranda of Agreement with the Department of Juvenile Justice. Such services include a Reentry Support Program for youth being released from juvenile facilities, an an independent living program for youth on parole, and comprehensive substance abuse treatment services. All Commission programs are registered with the CSA Service Fee Directory.
Under the Commission’s umbrella is our philanthropic arm, Tidewater Youth Services Foundation (formerly known as Children’s Resources-Hampton Roads, Inc.), established in 1991 as a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. Thanks to the philanthropic efforts of the foundation, many services are available to our clients and their families that are not factored into our fees. Some examples are: a family assistance fund, funding for our outdoor and recreational programs, staff and equipment, educational tutoring and summer school programs by certified teachers, cultural and arts enrichment programs and activities, clothing assistance, computer purchases, music lesson, suitcases for youth leaving our group homes, and an annual Youth Recognition Night. In 2007, TYSF secured a major grant from the Hampton Roads Community Foundation, then know as the Norfolk Foundation, to refurnish our group homes. TYSF has also supplemented the Commission’s training budget by completely or partially funding major training initiatives for Commission staff, which have enabled us to remain in the forefront in using evidenced-based approaches such as Motivational Interviewing, Aggression Replacement Training, Thinking for a Change, outdoor/wilderness certifications, and other specialized instruction.
Together, the Tidewater Youth Services Commission and its charitable partner, Tidewater Youth Services Foundation, are working hard to help young people in our community find the right path to a brighter future.