The Youth Empowerment Services waiver is a statewide 1915(c) Medicaid program that helps children and youth with serious mental, emotional and behavioral difficulties. The YES waiver provides intensive services delivered within a strengths-based team planning process called wraparound. Wraparound builds on family and community support and utilizes YES services to help build the family’s natural support network and connection with their community. YES services are family-centered, coordinated and effective at preventing out-of-home placement and promoting lifelong independence and self-defined success.
The program aims to:
- Reduce the amount of time the child is out of their home and community because of a mental health need.
- Expand available mental health services and supports.
- Improve the lives of children and youth.
A wraparound facilitator will meet with you weekly to work on creating a plan specifically for your child. The wraparound plan is also made with help from your child and family team, which meets once a month. The team includes you, your child and people who are important in your child’s life. This may be professionals, family, friends, coaches, or teachers who want to help your child meet their goals. Together, the team develops a plan of care to meet the specific needs and goals of your child and family using YES services, community resources and family strengths.
What's Included in the YES Program
YES Waiver services include:
- Respite Services: Allow caregivers to take a temporary break from caring for youth enrolled in YES.
- Community Living Supports: Help your child develop skills to address their mental health needs in the community using proven practices and strategies.
- Specialized Therapies: These include art, recreation, music, and animal-assisted therapies as well as nutritional counseling.
- Family Supports: Connect family members with others who can support them by sharing similar lived experiences.
- Assisted and Supported Employment: Help youth find employment and be successful in the workplace.
- Adaptive Aids and Supports: Medically necessary supports to prevent out-of-home placement.
- Minor Home Modifications: Keep your child safe at home with medically necessary modifications.
- Transportation for Non-Medical Reasons: Assistance for the minor to travel to receive a YES program service when no other transportation is available.
- Paraprofessional Services: Offer guidance and advice to help your child cope with stressful situations.
- Supportive Family-Based Alternatives: Provide support and model healthy interactions for the whole family while the youth temporarily lives in a therapeutic home.
- Transition Services: Help pay for the costs of moving a child to their own home.
What Are the Benefits of YES Waiver Services?
The YES waiver is designed to improve the lives of children, youth and families served
- You and your child are supported by a team.
- Services and supports target your child’s and family’s needs.
- You and your child can access services that are only available through YES.
- Supports help your child stay in your home and community.
Who Is Eligible for YES Waiver Services?
To participate in the YES waiver, a child must:
- Be 3-18 years old.
- Have serious mental, emotional and behavioral difficulties.
- Have a qualifying mental health diagnosis.
- Be at risk of being placed outside of their home due to their mental health needs.
- Meet the criteria to be in a psychiatric hospital.
- Be eligible for Medicaid (parent's income does not apply).
- Currently live in a home setting with a legal guardian or on their own.
How Long Does the Program Last?
The average length of time in the YES waiver is 8 to 16 months. Your child’s needs will determine program duration.
How Do I Get YES Waiver Services?
If you are a parent or a guardian, please contact your local mental health authority and ask for your child to be added to the YES waiver inquiry list. Find your local mental health authority YES waiver inquiry line.