For updates on COVID-19, please read here.

Programs & Services

Residential Programs

Individual treatment in a safe and supportive environment.

Foster Care

Foster a little hope.


Finding forever families.

Community Based Services

Keeping families together.


Nurturing potential, one friendship at a time.


Giving young people the right tools for adulthood.

Crisis Services

Providing crisis counselors 24/7.

Residential Programs

Individual treatment in a safe and supportive environment.

Foster Care

Foster a little hope.


Finding forever families.

Community Based Services

Keeping families together.


Nurturing potential, one friendship at a time.


Giving young people the right tools for adulthood.

Crisis Services

Providing crisis counselors 24/7.

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Do you share our passion for helping children and families live successfully?

Whether you are a licensed counselor, a recent graduate, a professional with experience working with troubled youth, or you’re a current youth mental health counselor, we’ve got a place for you.

Janie’s Fund is a partnership created by Steven Tyler with Youth Villages, to bring hope and healing for many of our most vulnerable girls who have suffered the trauma of abuse and neglect.

Youth Villages Stories

Middle Tennessee COVID-19 Updates

COVID-19 forced Youth Villages to make quick changes to programming in early March, but we’re continuing to meet the needs of our group home residents, children, families and young people during the pandemic.

Nashville Film Festival

For the fourth year in a row, Youth Villages is partnering with the Nashville Film Festival for the Livin’ Reel project. Livin’ Reel connects local artists with at-risk youth to create an original piece of art. The project will premiere during this year’s virtual festival from October 1-7, 2020.

Tristan’s Story – LifeSet Spotlight

Tristan, 20, entered DCS custody when he was 14 years old. “I got caught up in a lot of stuff I was not supposed to,” Tristan said. “I think that’s common for kids who grew up like I did. You have to do whatever it takes to get by.”

Mary Ann’s Journey

It would have been easy for Mary Ann to fail. Raised in an environment of substance abuse and violence, Mary Ann began using drugs at the early age of 8.

I Have Breast Cancer: How Do I Tell My Children?

As a caregiver, your first instinct is to protect your child from being upset, scared or hurt. That’s a perfectly reasonable mindset. But how do you hold it together when you’re the one who’s facing all of these emotions after a recent diagnosis of breast cancer? Dr. Rebekah Lemmons provides tips to caregivers to help you both through this journey.

Through LifeSet and YVScholars, Zoe builds his future

Young people who turn 18 in foster care are resilient and want to become successful adults. Zoe, entered state custody at 14 years old and moved around a lot before “aging out.”
“I never really unpacked my clothing because I moved so much. I kept it in whatever bag I could find,” he says.

Finding Independence: Chris’s Story

Every year, the Youth Villages LifeSet program helps more than 4,000 young people across the county navigate challenges as they reach adulthood. These young people are resilient and capable…

Bipartisan bill introduced to fund relief for transition-age youth

Ary and other LifeSet participants shared their COVID-19 experiences with congressional representatives to advocate for targeted relief for older foster youth during the crisis and its recovery.

Youth Voice: Young people drive positive change to foster care policy in Louisiana

When the Louisiana Legislature convened on March 9, one item on the table for consideration during the three-month session was a Bill of Rights for children and youth in the state’s foster care system…

Amani’s LifeSet Story

Annually, 20,000 youth age out of foster care, and they are often left with little to no resources to transition successfully into adulthood. LifeSet™, an evidence-informed program model developed by Youth Villages, is the bridge from foster care to successful adulthood for thousands of transition-age youth across the country.

How does it feel to “age out” of foster care?

Every year, approximately 20,000 young people turn 18 in child welfare systems without ever being reunited with their biological family. Ary, a young woman receiving help in Youth Villages Oklahoma’s LifeSet program experienced the ups and downs of that big birthday.

Honoring Two National Board Members

We are honored to recognize two members of Youth Villages’ national board of directors, retiring from national board governance this past June.

Father weathers the storm of turmoil to grow closer to children

Juan’s responsibilities were too much. Left to care for four children after their mother left the family and discontinued visitation, he needed support.

July is Minority Mental Health Awareness Month

Every day, millions of Americans face the reality of living with a mental health condition. In many communities, these problems are increased by less access to care, cultural stigma and lower quality care. Anyone can experience the challenges of mental illness regardless of their background. But, one’s cultural background or identity can make access to mental health treatment much more difficult. July is National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month, and Youth Villages Clinical Consultant Brittany Jones discusses the unique challenges facing minority groups when it comes to their mental health.

Red Kite Society inducts two new members

This year Youth Villages of Middle Tennessee will induct two new members into the Red Kite Society; The Joe C. Davis Foundation and the Marlene and Spencer Hays Foundation. The Joe C. Davis Foundation has been a longtime supporter of the LifeSet program and has provided hundreds of young people with basic necessities and other resources to be successful.

Middle Tennessee Volunteer Spotlight

When COVID-19 forced everyone to make dramatic changes and in-person activities were suspended, Youth Villages’ volunteers remained committed to helping in any way they could. With the help of our established Friend In Need volunteer group, former Backpack Heroes and Holiday Heroes, and current group home volunteers, staff was able to immediately jump into action.

Graduation and LifeSet Spotlight

This year, a record number of 117 Middle Tennessee young men and women in Youth Villages’ LifeSet program graduated from either high school or college. This is a 30-graduate increase over last year! One shining example of the youth who have graduated is Hailey B.

New Priorities: Ian’s story

Stealing, drugs, truancy, no father growing up… Ian was headed in the wrong direction fast. With his life spiraling out of control, he was referred to Youth Villages’ MST-EA program.

How to support LGBTQ youth

June is Pride month, a time designated to celebrate the contributions of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) members of our community. Focusing on inclusion and support at home is critical for all children and adolescents but especially for those who identify as LGBTQ. One of our core values at Youth Villages reflects the importance of a supportive household: Children are raised best by their families. When at all possible, LGBTQ children belong with their families.

Lacoyah overcomes poor choices and adversity

Lacoyah was under the influence of drugs and out of control. Her reckless behavior and bad judgment left her ill-equipped to care for herself and future.

Parental anxiety and COVID-19

The consequences of the COVID-19 outbreak are being felt around the world. For many parents, this means having to cope with disrupted education, family illness, loss of household income and much more. Youth Villages clinical consultant Dr. Rebekah Lemmons provides information and tips to parents that may experience anxiety and fear.

5 Self-Care Tips to Protect your Mental Health During this Time

Natasha Bonner, Clinical Supervisor for Youth Villages, discusses five best practices to protect your mental health while dealing with the global pandemic and racial injustices.

A Day in the Life of a Family Intervention Specialist

At Youth Villages, Family Intervention Specialists work closely with youth and families through our Intercept and LifeSet programs. And while no day at Youth Villages is ever the same, Katie Guajardo, a family intervention specialist in our Intercept program, walks us through her typical day.

Talking to Your Children about Racism and Inclusion

Here’s the beautiful thing about children: Most are born with a natural sense of justice and fairness. However, as children develop, they begin to figure out that the color of their skin has more meaning beyond the colors found in a crayon box, and they need caring adults to help them construct a positive sense of self and a respectful understanding of others.

Youth Villages awarded $500,000 grant

Youth Villages is one of 130 local nonprofits to receive grants through Cummings Foundation’s $20 Million Grant Program.

Foster Care Awareness Activities in Middle Tennessee

May is National Foster Care Awareness Month. In Tennessee, approximately 8,000 children are in foster care at any given time. With fewer than 4,000 foster families, the need is ever-present; even during COVID-19. National statistics show that a new child is placed into care every two minutes.

LifeSet participant makes masks to help in COVID-19 crisis

Tae’s freshman year in college didn’t go as planned. He was in the middle of the second semester at Johnson & Wales University, studying culinary science, when the COVID-19 crisis began.

Rebuilding during COVID-19

Taylor and Tony Barnes are two Youth Villages employees from Cookeville, Tennessee, who married in August. Taylor is a family intervention specialist, and Tony is a LifeSet specialist. They looked forward to starting their lives together, until they lost everything as devastating tornadoes ripped through Middle Tennessee.

Fast-thinking Youth Villages specialist pulls together emergency resources

When a state of emergency was declared due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many people, understandably, freaked out.

Youth Villages helps young person through a crisis within a crisis

As difficult as the COVID-19 outbreak has been, many young people with unstable home lives have had an even harder time adjusting to the emergency.

Resourceful Youth Villages supervisor comes to families’ aid

“I had a colleague on vacation, and I needed to cover her shift.”

This is where it all started for Amber Harris, a supervisor for Youth Villages in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. One of her families had a potential case of COVID-19, and the mother needed help because she could no longer work.

What is Youth Villages doing concerning COVID-19?

Youth Villages is carefully monitoring the developments around Novel COVID-19…

8 Tips to Stay Mentally Healthy During Social Distancing

The current COVID-19 crisis has left many of us feeling helpless, stuck and uncertain. Please see below for eight tips on self-care and familial support during this trying time…

Partners launch LifeSet™ in Connecticut and Illinois

New partnering agencies and private providers launched the LifeSet™ program in Connecticut and Illinois in the first months of 2020.

The LifeSet™ Difference

Young people who have experienced foster care have so much potential, but without support in their teens and early 20s, they may struggle to transition into adulthood…

Leaving foster care: A needs assessment from Turning Points for Children, a LifeSet™ implementing provider

Youth transitioning out of foster care often face unique challenges compared to their peers; they have needs that aren’t always identified or addressed…

Markese puts his life in overdrive

Markese’s first car is a real fixer upper. As he and his LifeSet specialist look over the 1990s-era Crown Victoria

Youth Villages named Great Place to Work for 2020

Youth Villages has achieved the coveted designation for the third year in a row.

31st annual Youth Villages Soup Sunday slated for Feb. 23 at FedExForum

The Mid-South’s best tasting event, the 31st annual Youth Villages Soup Sunday, will take place Feb. 23 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at FedExForum…

Mid-South woman stepping up to mentor hopeful teen waiting for adoption

 By Arianna Poindexter | WMCTV5 | January 30, 2020 at 6:29 PM CST - Updated January 30 at 6:43 PM  MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - January is National Mentoring Month, a campaign aimed at expanding quality mentoring opportunities. One Mid-South woman is stepping up to make a...

Program works to ‘Intercept’ young people from life of crime

Without the Youth Villages Intercept program, Johnnie Alvarado knows he would have wound up in prison or, worse, dead…

Local nonprofit highlights need for mentors in Memphis for National Mentoring Month

January is National Mentoring Month and Youth Villages, a nonprofit that works with at-risk families, is highlighting the need for mentors in the Memphis area.

Steven Tyler celebrated third annual Grammy Awards® viewing party Benefiting Janie’s Fund

  FEATURING HOST TERRY CREWS AND PERFORMANCE BY GAVIN DeGRAW Click HERE and HERE for Photos (Credit: Getty Images) Click HERE for Video (Credit: Getty Video) Exclusive Gala Raised More than $2.4 Million for Janie’s Fund LOS ANGELES, CA (January 27, 2020) – Last night,...

McKinley finds the right path

McKinley used to be a rebellious youth, running away from home and in and out of trouble with the law…

Youth Villages Names Jessica Foster Chief Strategy Officer

The appointment is a promotion from within, as Foster has been with the national children’s mental and behavioral health nonprofit for nearly nine years. First hired to serve in various strategy, business development and policy roles, she quickly moved up the ranks of the organization…

Weathersbee: Can federal money end Memphis’ gang violence? Not if G-A-N-G spells F-A-M-I-L-Y

Strengthening families and giving young people the support they need to move away from gang activity can make a difference in our communities. Special thanks to Commercial Appeal columnist Tonyaa Weathersbee for highlighting this issue and interviewing Youth Villages foster parent Yolanda Tate and clinical consultant Katie Puckett in her story today.

Pat Lawler marks 40 years of serving troubled young people at Youth Villages helm

Youth Villages founder and CEO Pat Lawler is celebrating 40 years of working with children and families, and he’s even more enthused about his work today than at the start.

Memphis-based Youth Villages makes its mark across the nation

From a small, struggling residential treatment center in Memphis to a nationwide organization recognized by the President of the United States, Youth Villages has become a respected leader in treating children with emotional and behavioral issues…

Inaugural Rockin’ for Janie event raises $200,000 to support Youth Villages’ LifeSet Program in Massachusetts

The Youth Villages Massachusetts’ Rockin’ for Janie event, held Oct. 25 in partnership with Steven Tyler’s Janie’s Fund, raised over $200,000 to support young women

Jessica Foster named chief strategy officer at Youth Villages

Jessica Foster has been named chief strategy officer for Youth Villages, a national children’s mental and behavioral health nonprofit organization…

A Christmas miracle for Laxavier

Driving toward success recently took on a new – and literal – meaning for Laxavier. And it’s all thanks to a “strange” occurrence…

Jaquelyn’s journey to a new beginning

At 16-years-old, Jaquelyn moved to America for a new life, new opportunity, and away from the perils of the country where she was born…

Corporate and Community Partners Provide Valuable Support to Middle Tennessee programs

From backpacks to gardens to fence repair to holiday gifts, Middle Tennessee’s corporate and community supporters made valuable contributions…

Aging out of foster care: Why it happens and how social workers can help

Youth Villages was featured as an expert in the December issue of Social Work Today…

Bill’s Place bringing 200 jobs to Memphis area

Youth Villages’ new expansion, Bill’s Place, was recently featured in two media stories focused on growth and hiring…

LifeSet™ youth speaks at inaugural Rockin’ for Janie event

Making the transition into adulthood is hard for anyone. But for those who turn 18 in foster care, it can be a particularly challenging time of life…

If you had $25 million to give away, who would get it?

Katherina Rosqueta, executive director, Penn’s Center for High Impact Philanthropy mentioned one national nonprofit: Youth Villages…

Youth Villages honors Amy Linthicum with Clarence Day Legacy Award

Memphian and local Crye-Leike realtor Amy Linthicum was recently selected as the recipient of the 2019 Clarence Day Legacy Award at Youth Villages…

The Youth Villages Inner Harbour Campus celebrated 10 years

Serving young people since 1962, the Inner Harbour Campus merged with Youth Villages in 2009, continuing its long-tenured support of children in the greater Atlanta metro area and beyond…

Youth Villages receives $20,000 grant from Evergreen Foundation

Waynesville, N.C. – Youth Villages recently received a $20,000 grant from the Evergreen Foundation in Waynesville. The contribution will support Youth Villages’ LifeSet™ program, which supports young people ages 17-22 who are aging out of foster care in Cherokee, Clay, Graham, Haywood, Jackson, Macon and Swain counties of North Carolina…

YVScholars like Ali show how to ‘defy the odds’

When Ali graduated from college this year, she decorated her cap with a special message. “I chose to put ‘defying the odds’ on my graduation cap because statistically, I shouldn’t have even gone to college, let alone graduate,” Ali said. “But I did both!”

Employee Spotlight: Mallory Jabaay

A fresh graduate from University of Indianapolis in 2016, Mallory Jabaay set her sights on a career that would not only improve the lives of children, but their families, as well. Upon entering the job force, she knew she wanted to be as hands on as possible as she worked to keep families together. That very passion is what led her to Youth Villages. Mallory is a specialist who does most of her work within Youth Villages’ YVIntercept program…

Employee Spotlight: Nicole Amenta

Nicole Amenta is originally from Connecticut. As a specialist of social services, she found her way to Bloomington and set sights on pursuing the ideal career. After searching through multiple service providers, she came in contact with Youth Villages. What attracted her to the organization is its unique approach to care and felt that everyone she came in contact with was warm and welcoming. Nicole has been with the organization in Bloomington for a year and a half now and says she loves it…

Andrea finds hope and a new path through LifeSet

Andrea* was referred to our LifeSet program through a local therapy clinic. Instead of enjoying high school, she was struggling with the death of a parent, intense bullying at school, and severe anxiety attacks. Her school ID card picture was taken the day after she discharged from the clinic and serves as a painful reminder of how bad things had become and how far she had to go to achieve her goals…

BancorpSouth contributes $100,000 to Youth Villages

TUPELO, Miss. September 26 , 2019 – BancorpSouth Bank (NYSE: BXS) today announced a $100,000 contribution to support Youth Villages and its programs that impact the lives of young people in Tupelo, Mississippi and the surrounding areas…

Oregon state senate bills for child welfare reform pass unanimously

After nearly two years of work from the Children & Youth with Specialized Needs Work Group (CYSN), Oregon State Senate Bill 1 and the accompanying Senate Bill 221 passed the legislative assembly with universal support this past session. These legislative efforts include more than $30 million investment in services to support this vulnerable population and a system of care oversight council to assure accountability…

Helping Children Find A Way Home

For many children in Tennessee, a foster home provides a pathway to permanency as they move from out-of-home placements to their biological families or to adoption. In fact, many of our foster parents choose to adopt if a child cannot go home with relatives. Donna...

Dad Steps Up to Provide a Home for Tyanna

Youth Villages’ intensive in-home services program, Intercept, often is used to safely reunite families after children have experienced foster care. This is so important because children need stability to have their best chance at long-term success…

Malik’s behavior change puts him center stage

Malik, 9, was on stage with other third graders for the ENTIRE school Christmas program last month, He marched up the bleachers with his class. Stood in the right place. Sang all the songs. He followed all the directions… For most parents, good behavior during a...

For Charlie, success is putting one foot in front of the other

Charlie was 17 years old when he began services with Youth Villages. Although he was only a teenager, the responsibilities of adulthood weighed heavily on his shoulders. "Charlie was completely overwhelmed when he showed up at Inner Harbour," said Lecretia Franklin,...

Youth Villages opens funding opportunity for transition-age foster youth services

Youth Villages is opening a third round of philanthropic funding designed to help public agencies around the country expand services to transition-age foster youth. Up to $3 million per jurisdiction will be available through the national nonprofit organization in a...

Reforms in Tennessee child welfare system ripple across the nation

Youth Villages is striving to transform child welfare systems across the country to bring more effective services to children, families and young people. Cindy Walker writes down phone numbers of apartments for Terrineka Maxwell, right, to check out. On the sofa is...

Youth Villages honors late board member, business titan and local philanthropist Michael D. Rose

Youth Villages honors late board member, business titan and local philanthropist Michael D. Rose. Michael D. Rose - Late board member and local philanthropistIn a ceremony held April 2, the Girls Center for Intensive Residential Treatment was renamed the Rose Center...

Deanna’s life turns around

Deanna, 15, didn’t want to go to school. Finally, all the unexcused absences added up to truancy charges, and the probation office in Jasper, Indiana, assigned Youth Villages’ Intercept intensive in-home services program to help. Upon arrival for the first home...

Kromer appointed to Tennessee’s Juvenile Justice Reform Implementation Council

Youth Villages Tennessee Executive Director Charmaine Kromer was appointed by former Gov. Bill Haslam to serve on the 18-person Juvenile Justice Reform Implementation Council. Haslam, on his last day in office, also appointed government officials, lawyers and law...

She will ‘age out’ of foster care in two months. Her hope: That lawmakers will make sure young people like her aren’t pushed out during the pandemic.

Before Deshala Royster ended up in D.C.’s foster care system, decorating her bedroom with vision boards that tell of the life she hopes to create, she spent years taking on adult roles in the life she was handed.