Children's Services


Staffing Workforce Reductions
In the event of an outbreak of an infectious disease and declaration of an emergency by the Washtenaw County Administrator, the Director of Children’s Services shall designate positions as either “non-essential”, or “essential.” Those positions that are considered “non-essential” to the care and custody of youth shall not be required to work in the facility to reduce the possible spread and exposure of an infectious disease. Those identified as “essential” will be required to report to the facility if they are in good health.

Should a youth care staff be exposed to the COVID-19 virus, they will report it immediately to the Director of the facility. Exposed staff shall not be allowed back to the facility for a pre-determined amount of time as advised by our Washtenaw County Public Health official. Once medically cleared, staff will be allowed to return to active duty.

In the event where a significant number of full-time staff are placed on the inactive roster due to health concerns, the Youth Center will utilize their pool of on-call staff (active roster shall be kept to 15-20 individuals) to work in place of full-time staff that are unable to actively work. If there is a shortage of on-on-call staff, the Youth Center will: (1) work with the Trial Court to assess which youth could realistically be released from the facility that pose little risk to the public, or themselves; (2) work with licensing to temporarily adjust staffing ratio to accommodate the reduction in staffing and; (3) Activate Supervisor staff, and administrative staff to work in the youth care role in place of floor staff that are unable to be onsite due to illness. 

Family of youth: Immediately after the designation of an emergency, The Youth Center Director will end all in-person visits for youth to reduce the number of individuals entering the youth center facility. Youth will be given additional visit time by phone to family, or conduct visits via video program on a designated computer. All parents will be notified by phone of the visit policy being changed, and a notification letter will be mailed to each parent at their home address outlining facility safety measures.

Professional visitors: The Youth Center reduce most professional visitors by moving meetings to phone, or online video chat programs. If a professional visitor during the designated emergency is required to be present at the facility in person, they will be screened the same way staff working at the facility (health screening questions and their temperature taken prior to admitting into the secure area to meeting with youth).

Programming: all outside programming that comes to the Youth Center during a declared emergency will be cancelled until the emergency has been ended.

Health Screening and Travel
Facility Staff and Professional visitors: All essential staff and professional visitors will be screened with health questions, and have their temperature taken prior to entry to the facility. Anyone with a temperature over 100.3 will not be admitted, as well as any staff/professional visitor answering “yes” to the following screening questions:

  1. Do you have a sore throat?
  2. Do you have shortness of breath?
  3. Do you have a cough?
  4. Have you been in contact with someone in the last 14 days with a confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19?

International travel: Staff indicating they have traveled internationally outside of the United States will be required to complete a Travel Notification with the Washtenaw County Human Resources department. Once reviewed, Human Resources will determine if the employee will be required to be quarantined 14 days away from the worksite.

Youth Screening: New youth being admitted into the facility will be screened with the same health screening questions as staff and processional visitors—and their temperature will be taken. If their temperature is over 100.3, or they answer “yes” to the health screening questions at admission and may be denied admission until they are medically cleared by a health care provider.

For youth already residing in the facility, periodic health screening will occur by the facility doctor and nurse. If youth are showing any symptoms, or have a fever they will be provided a mask, and placed in the designated quarantine area for medical observation and monitoring.

Quarantine Area
The Youth Center Director shall designate a quarantine area for youth showing symptoms of illness. This shall be designated as the Observation unit, or a dedicated housing unit if there are more than 2 youth concurrently ill at the same time. If a designated housing unit is identified for ill youth, it will only be used to house those specific youth that are symptomatic, and not general population youth without symptoms.

Youth housed in the facility that are symptomatic shall be transported outside the facility for testing in coordination with the Washtenaw County Public Health Department. When youth return after testing, they are to be placed in the designated quarantine area until they are medically cleared to move off the unit by a physician.

Court Hearings 
All Court hearings during a designated emergency of infectious disease shall not be in person, and conducted via video system, or by phone. Youth will speak to their Public Defender attorney prior to their hearing via a laptop computer via video on the “Zoom” program. The meeting will be private, and held in a designated room.


During a state of emergency, the facility will increase it cleaning protocols to 3-times per day to reduce the spread of potential viruses. Careful attention to door handles, tables, chairs and other frequented surfaces shall be cleaned. In addition, the facility shall stockpile emergency supplies such as hand sanitizer, toilet paper, cleaning supplies, wipes, and gloves. During the emergency, facility staff shall be designated to collect and account the levels of supplies to ensure levels are maintained for the duration of the emergency.

Infectious Disease Prevention and Control
Staff and youth will be provided with comprehensive information on standard precautions to stop the spread of contagious diseases within the facility. This information shall include hand washing, social distancing, reporting illness, encouraging staff to stay home if they are ill, using alcohol-based hand sanitizer when water and soap are not available, avoid touching your face, proper way to respond when sneezing and coughing and ensuring frequently touched objects or surfaces are cleaned by facility janitorial staff.

The Washtenaw County Children’s Services Department is comprised of the following programs:

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About Us

The Washtenaw County Youth Center provides temporary custody and care for juveniles in a safe and secure setting. Youth in Detention are placed pre-adjudication, awaiting a judge’s determination of whether or not a delinquent offense has been committed. Youth placed in the True North Recovery Residential Substance Abuse program are placed post-adjudication to complete a substance abuse treatment program. The Youth Center is staffed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for 365 days per year.

Our Mission

Provide safe, secure, care and custody for young people that is of exceptional quality in all domains.

Our Vision

A community that is safe, healthy, and just, where all can thrive.

Our Core Values

We Believe:

  • In the dignity and worth of ALL people, and that diversity enriches Children's Services Buildinglife.
  • In redemption, recovery, and relentless hope.
  • In equitable access to resources and opportunities for all people.
  • That relationships are our most important tool.
  • That education is a right, not a privilege.
  • That people are more important than things

Safe Place, Safe Space

All youth shall be protected from discrimination based on race, national origin, color, creed, age, gender, gender expression, sexual orientation, height, weight, physical handicap, and political and/or religious beliefs. All youth shall not be restricted from access to programs and activities based on these protected characteristics. All youth shall be assured that seeking judicial relief will not be met with reprisal or penalty. All youth have the right to legal representation.


  • Medical and Dental Services on site, including medication management.
  • On site psychiatrist provided by Community Mental Health.
  • Group and individual counseling including suicide screening and crisis intervention.
  • Year-round accredited school programming provided by Washtenaw Intermediate School District.
  • Trauma responsive care and environment.
  • Food service planned according to USDA guidelines for Child Nutrition Programs.


  • Volunteer Application: To apply for volunteer work you must already be associated with an affiliated Youth Center program.