Standards for public agencies

2020 Edition

Youth Psychosocial Services Definition


Youth participating in Psychosocial Services receive community based services that facilitate childhood development and resiliency using a holistic approach that improves family functioning and increases child well-being and safety.


Youth Psychosocial Services (PA-YPS) provide an interdisciplinary, psychoeducational, and therapeutic program to engage youth in a variety of cognitive, physical, and social activities appropriate to their needs, interests, and abilities in order to promote healthy development.  

Many youth who benefit from youth psychosocial services have complex needs, requiring service planning with multiple service sectors. In order to meet these needs many programs use the wraparound approach of service planning to provide intensive, individualized care with the goal of maintaining the youth in the home and the community, or the appropriate least restrictive setting. While it is not necessary to use Wraparound services when providing psychosocial rehabilitation to youth, the research supports that participation in Wraparound services sustains youths’ ongoing participation in services. An agency may engage in a wraparound approach without being a wraparound program. The aim of these programs is to engage the youth, family/primary caregiver, and all service providers to develop and implement a plan with shared goals and outcomes. The main effort of these programs may not be to provide direct service, but they still fall under the umbrella of youth psychosocial programs and benefit from these standards. For programs that offer solely wraparound services, documentation of the other services to which youth are connected will suffice.


Viewing: PA-YPS - Youth Psychosocial Services


Note: The term ‘youth’ refers to individuals between the ages of 3 and 21 whose developmental needs can be met through engagement in a psychosocial rehabilitation program and who have a primary caregiver.

Note: While addressing the needs of the youth is the primary goal of youth psychosocial rehabilitation programs, oftentimes it is essential to provide support for the family/primary caregiver and engage them in services as well. Agencies should work with the youth to understand their definition of “family” in order for youth to develop and sustain permanent, lifelong connections.

Note: Standards PA-YPS 3.03 and PA-YPS 3.04 are for Wraparound-specific programs only.

Note: Please see PA-YPS Reference List for the research that informed the development of these standards. 

Note: For information about changes made in the 2020 Edition, please see the YPS Crosswalk.