About Families and Youth, Inc.

Families and Youth, Inc., (FYI) underlying philosophy is to build on family and individual strengths to preserve family ties whenever possible. FYI's approach to youth development is to empower the youth to increase personal assets and enhance coping/survival skills. A multi-systemic approach to providing services is utilized by the staff, emphasizing specific skill development. Individual cognitive behavioral therapy and strategic or structural family therapy are provided to the adolescent and their families based on their individual treatment plan.

FYI began as Children in Need of Services (CHINS, INC.,) on April 1977 under the leadership of Jose V. Frietze, LISW. To assess what services were needed, future State Representative Antonio Lujan, LISW, wrote a conceptual white paper and introduced the concept of a program based on the Salvador Minuchin Model of Family Therapy. Using this model, the CHINS approach focused on the participation of the entire family to enhance the possibility of a child's success. This model was adopted for statewide implementation of CHINS Services.

As a result of elections in New Mexico, a new Governor was elected in 1984. That Governor proceeded to eliminate all funding for CHINS programs statewide. This sudden and dramatic change in funding forced CHINS, Inc., to re-examine its organizational structure and its focus. CHINS, Inc. was on the verge of closing down and the staff members who remained chose to make this challenge an opportunity. Collectively they decided to rename the agency Families & Youth, Inc., (FYI). A mission statement was developed and a new assertive attitude surfaced among the FYI staff.

The staff at FYI made another significant decision in 1987, to embark and pursue funding in three distinct areas—prevention, intervention and treatment. It also developed an organizational model of growing in a horizontal manner. By taking this approach it provided greater protection from the always present threat of facing a loss in funding, and it also led to one of the first One-Stop Programs in New Mexico. FYI continued with its core counseling program (Family Focus) while adding a broad range of services for families and youth. These included—Child/Adult Care Food Program, Youth Employment, Stepping Stones Boys and Girls Group Homes, Emergency Shelter, Juvenile Community Corrections, Treatment Foster Care, SafeHouse/Children’s Advocacy Center, Americorp Educational Services, Functional Family Therapy, Multi-Systemic Family Therapy (MST) and numerous prevention services.

Over the years FYI has strived to bring up services that are requested by the community. This includes a multimillion dollar facility for a transitional Living Program (El Crucero), as well as a Charter High School (Las Montañas). FYI created a sister organization, Resources for Children & Youth Inc (RCYI) that serves as a foundation for FYI and owns numerous properties. Families & Youth Inc is also a founding member of another non-profit—Rio Grande Behavioral Health Services, Inc., (RGBHS), a Provider Sponsored Network that has played a crucial role in helping FYI make a transition into the behavioral health managed care phase in New Mexico.

During its developmental stages, from a small single purpose agency, to a large corporation, the staff at FYI learned that to be effective and be able to survive in a very competitive environment, the agency had to be adaptable and flexible. FYI seeks community input to ensure successful implementation of services for now and for our future.

The FYI's headquarters is located at 1320 South Solano with an additional office in Las Cruces; three other satellite offices are located in Sunland Park, Anthony and Deming, New Mexico. The agency also owns/operates three residential facilities also located in Las Cruces. With an annual budget of $15 million, FYI delivers Counseling and Social Services to approximately 16,000 individuals every year.

As one of New Mexico’s first Core Service Agencies for Children’s Behavioral Health Services, FYI continues to grow and provide more services for all of Southern New Mexico. New services include, the Juvenile Assessment and Reporting Center (JARC), and expanded Community Support Services, as well as expanded Crisis Intervention Services. The JARC Program is located at the El Crucero site, and provides an opportunity for intervention 24-hours, 7-days a week.

Author/Creator: Jose V. Frietze

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