The Youth Aid Panel is made up of concerned, caring citizens of various ages and professions, as well as socioeconomic and ethnic groups. Applicants are carefully and impartially selected to represent the community at large. Trained and certified panel members serve for one year terms and may serve longer with appropriate performance and ongoing in-service training.
Panel members are not paid for their services. Panel members generally meet once a month for a 3-4 hour hearing session with referred youth.
Panel members receive 15 hours of mandatory training on topics, including:
Communications and reflective listening skills
Dispositional alternatives available for offender referral
Impact of addictions and abuse on family systems
Interview techniques and counseling
Lancaster County Juvenile Court System
The role of police and their interaction with youth
Prepare new YAP members for the mechanics of a Youth Aid Panel, including:
YAP initial and exit interviews
Build Understanding, empathy, common frameworks and skills for addressing harm caused by youth, including:
Youth development and causes of juvenile violations
Restorative justice principles and facilitating skills
Trauma-informed principles and practices
Bias-informed awareness and practices
Harm and those impacted of crime
Understand and develop a relationship with other components of the juvenile justice system and its partners including:
Build mutual appreciation, respect and trust for YAP members and their diverse contributions, modeling for youth and families what is expected of them.