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Youth Assessment Center

Intake And Release Area Garage


The mission of the Lancaster County Youth Assessment Center is to provide a coordinated, multi-agency setting which, in conjunction with families and the community, supports activities that contribute to the safety and well-being of youth involved with the juvenile justice system or at risk of becoming involved as well as their families and the community. This is done through early intervention, broad-based and comprehensive assessments, and timely access to appropriate services.

Guiding Principles

All services and activities provided by or through the Lancaster County Youth Assessment Center are guided by the following principles of care:

  • Culturally Competent
  • Family Focused
  • Child Centered
  • Strength Based
  • Outcome Focused
  • Least Restrictive


The Youth Assessment Center will serve a two-fold purpose within the Lancaster County Juvenile Justice System:

  • Youth taken into custody are matched with an appropriate level of supervision/custody pending case processing
  • Youth coming into contact with law enforcement for alleged law violations are diverted from formal juvenile justice processing where possible and appropriate
  • Delinquent youth will receive timely and proportionate consequences for illegal behavior
  • Families in crisis will have timely and meaningful support available
  • Youth will receive timely and thorough assessment to identify immediate needs requiring attention prior to final disposition.
  • Youth will receive comprehensive evaluations, as appropriate, to aid the court in final disposition
  • Timely access and sharing of essential information among agencies and service providers is tantamount
  • Reduction in the depth and duration of youth's involvement with the juvenile justice system
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