Attendant Care

Attendant Care is on-call, short term, staff secure holding of juvenile offenders who cannot or do not need to be placed in a physically secure setting and

1. cannot be immediately released to their parents
2. need to be held until a longer term placement can be arranged
3. need to be held while an investigation is being conducted
4. for whom shelter care is not appropriate due to the risk of running

The Police Youth Bureau or Youth Services Department of Mandan Police Department authorizes and approves all law enforcement (Police and Sheriff) requests for attendant care. Youthworks may authorize the placement of runaway and homeless youth who are being handled outside of the law enforcement and juvenile justice system. Placing agencies have the authority to make placements for up to 24 hours. Placements of 24-48 hours may be allowed by Youthworks but require notification of the Juvenile Court.

Attendant Care has been a very successful program.  With state and county funding, the program has provided an alternative to more than 800 youth since January of 1990.  The number of youth placed in attendant care and the number of hours has grown every year.


Bismarck:  Emily Yanish, 255-6909, eyanish@youthworksnd.org

Fargo:  Cathy Olson, 701-232-8558, colson@youthworksnd.org


The Diversion program provides early intervention to youth entering the juvenile court system due to status offense charges. The program helps youth and families address the issues that have led to law enforcement involvement in order to prevent further advancement into the juvenile court system.

Support Services

  • Assessment and counseling
  • Develop a plan to address concerns that led to citation.
  • Individual counseling and case management
  • Crisis intervention
  • Referral to other Youthworks services including mentoring, family counseling, anger management counseling, academic assistance or independent living groups.
  • Referral to community programs.
  • Progress reporting to the Juvenile Court, as needed.

Eligibility: Youth referred by the Juvenile Court due to citation.

Parental consent is required and parental participation is highly encouraged.


Bismarck: Samantha Bishop, 701-255-6909, sbishop@youthworksnd.org

Fargo, Wahpeton, Valley City & Jamestown: Karl Johnson, 701-232-8558, kjohnson@youthworksnd.org

Drop-In (Fargo)

Youthworks offers drop-in hours for local in-need youth and young adults ages 15-22 to access our food pantry, clothes closet, personal hygiene items, and household goods. Youthworks’ staff will be available to help youth and young adults pick out what they need and discuss further services that might benefit them.

Monday: 1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Tuesday: 3:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Thursday: 3:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.

No appointment needed!

  • Confidential Services
  • 24/7 Crisis Phone Line
  • Information & Referral
  • Counseling
  • Youth Shelter
  • Transitional Housing
  • Runaway Prevention
  • Essential Supplies
  • Bus Tokens
  • Safer Sex Packs
  • Food
  • Clothing
  • Household Items
  • Hygiene Items
  • Bus Passes
  • Winter Gear
  • Blankets
  • Laundry


Heather Forbord, 701-232-8558, streetoutreach@youthworksnd.org or hforbord@youthworksnd.org

Family Counseling

Youthworks Family Counseling Cooperative provides affordable, evening counseling services for youth and families. Youthworks Coop Counselors are experienced professionals providing brief family counseling to at-risk families where running away, psychiatric placement or other out-of-home placement is a presenting problem. Counseling services are of a brief nature, with 8 sessions being the norm. Coop counselors are available to follow up on these crisis situations on weekends and evenings. A reduced fee of $50/hr, or a lesser agreed upon amount, is suggested to offset the cost of the program. Families are never denied services if they are unable to make financial contributions. Collected fees are used to further sustain the program.


Emily Yanish, 701-255-6909, eyanish@youthworksnd.org


Guardian ad Litem Program

Providing effective, independent  advocacy in the best interest of children before the court.

What is a Guardian ad Litem?

A Guardian ad Litem (GAL) is a person appointed by the court to advocate for the best interest of a child involved in Juvenile Court.

A guardian is the only person whose sole purpose is to advocate for the child’s best interest. Sometimes when the court is faced with a difficult decision, it is necessary to have an objective person to provide independent information regarding the best interests of the child.

The guardian attends all court hearings and interviews all involved parties (child, parents, school personnel) and reviews available paperwork in an effort to provide detailed written recommendation to the court.

A Guardian works with Children who may be:

Guardian’s work with youth ranging in age from newborns to teenagers, from a different culture, from a different race or from a different socio-economic background who may be:

  • Physically abused

  • Sexually abused

  • Verbally abused

  • Neglected physically

  • Neglected medically

  • Neglected educationally

  • Psychologically maltreated

What does a Guardian ad Litem do?

The GAL assists the court and child welfare system to better understand the needs of the child. A GAL will also help the child understand the legal system.

A GAL will help identify resources for the child and family. They will also keep track of treatment plans and court orders.

The core function of a GAL is an objective examination of the child’s situation to assist the  child’s circumstances and needs. A guardian’s role is to ensure every child lives in a safe, healthy, permanent family.

Guardians Log In Here: https://www.ndguardian.net/


Bismarck:  Lauren Bosch, Western North Dakota Manager, 701-255-6909, lbosch@youthworksnd.org

Fargo:  Jessica Fleck, Eastern North Dakota Manager, 701-232-8558, jfleck@youthworksnd.org

Lotus Human Trafficking Program

A program providing direct service and intensive case management to young survivors of human trafficking, including sex and labor trafficking. Services include individual intake/assessment, individual counseling, appropriate service referrals, transportation, and various emergency shelter and transitional housing options. This program aims to help these young survivors (through age 22) establish a safe, healthy, and secure future. Program staff are also available to provide training and community education.


Emily Yanish, Program Manager, 701-255-6909, eyanish@youthworksnd.org

Christina Sambor, FUSE, 701-255-6909, csambor@youthworksnd.org

Amy Jacobson, Human Trafficking Navigator, ajacobson@youthworksnd.org

Anita Tipton, Human Trafficking Specialist, anita@youthworksnd.org


Clare Mark, Human Trafficking Program Manager, cmark@youthworksnd.org

Melissa Williams, Human Trafficking Navigator, mwilliams@youthworksnd.org

Megan Lundborg, Human Trafficking Specialist, mlundborg@youthworksnd.org

Danielle John, Human Trafficking Survivor Leader, djohn@youthworksnd.org

New Direction (Bismarck)

New Direction is an after school group working with Native American students to provide tutoring services and a supportive network, in the hopes of increasing the students’ grades, self-confidence, and peer support network.

Students are comprised of 9th-12th graders from 4 local high schools (Bismarck High School, Century High School, Legacy High School and Mandan High School).

Students who attended the New Direction Tutoring Program raised their grades by an average of 21 points, or the equivalent of approximately two letter grades


Samantha Bishop, 701-255-6909, sbishop@youthworksnd.org

Out of School Suspension/Day Treatment (Fargo)

Youthworks Out-of-School Suspension program provides meaningful activities and supervision for students suspended from school to help them avoid negative behavior and to teach them the value of service to others. The program was designed in consultation with local schools and consists of assessment/counseling, homework assistance, and community serivce.   Schools, under certain circumstances, may shorten the suspension upon successful completion of community service, homework and/or progress in addressing issues which resulted in the suspension. The program is offered throughout the school year during the day.   Parental consent is required and releases of information must be signed.  The program is for students enrolled in Bismarck/Mandan schools and Fargo schools.  Referrals are typically made by the schools. Parents must participate in an intake along with the youth and should call Youthworks the day of the suspension to schedule an appointment.

Community Service.   Community service is completed either at Youthworks or various local sites.  Youthworks will provide the transportation to the site.  Parents are responsible for transportation following community service.  Community service will be completed in the afternoons on the days the program runs.

Homework Assistance and Supervision. Youthworks will obtain homework assignments to be completed during the suspension and provide homework assistance to ensure that the assignments are completed.

Assessment, Problem Solving, Counseling & Referral. Youthworks’ professional staff have extensive experience working with all types of at-risk youth.


Dan Ricke, Teacher, 701-232-8558, dricke@youthworksnd.org

Mara Wessel, Case Manager, 701-232-8558, mwessel@youthworksnd.org

Transitional Living

Youthworks provides short-term transitional housing and support services to homeless young adults ages 18-21.

Eligibility: Available to homeless youth ages 18-21 who do not have a safe and permanent living arrangement. Housing services are available up to 21 months.

Housing: Youth who are eligible may contact Youthworks for an application. Housing is available based on a

2 to 4 week intake process and apartment vacancy. Support services are available immediately.

There is a program fee charged each month with a possibility of deduction for full time students. Upon transition into permanent housing, additional financial assistance may be available.

Support Services

  • Furnished apartment
  • Counseling and mentoring
  • Support groups
  • Referrals
  • Educational and employment assistance
  • Independent living skills education
  • Assistance with food, bedding and personal hygiene items
  • Drop-in apartment support/supervision

Click Here For Tenant Resources



Mark Heinert, Program Manager, 701-255-6909, mheinert@youthworksnd.org

Ethan Hoepfner, Case Manager, 701-255-6909, ehoepfner@youthworksnd.org


Sheyenne Puetz, Case Manager, 701-232-8558, spuetz@youthworksnd.org

Parenting Pathways

The Parenting Pathways program provides short-term transitional housing and support services to individuals who are pregnant
or parenting.

Eligibility: Available to homeless pregnant or parenting young adults ages 18-21 who do not have a safe and permanent living arrangement. Housing services are available up to 21 months.

Housing: Young adults who are eligible may contact Youthworks for an application. Housing is available based on a 2 to 4 week intake process and apartment vacancy. Support services are available immediately.

There is a program fee charged each month with a possibility of deduction for full time students. Upon transition into permanent housing, additional financial assistance may be available.

  • Support Services
  • Furnished apartment
  • Counseling and mentoring
  • Support groups
  • Referrals
  • Educational and employment assistance
  • Parenting education
  • Independent living skills education
  • Assistance with food, bedding and personal hygiene items
  • Drop-in apartment support/supervision

Goals & Expectations

  • Pregnant and parenting youth are required to:
    • Learn parenting skills including:
    • Child development skills
    • Health and nutrition education
    • Family budgeting skills
    • Economic independence skills
  • Attend all required meetings.
  • Actively participate in recommended mental health/chemical dependency services.
  • Maintain a clean, safe, drug and alcohol free living environment.
  • Obtain and maintain employment.
  • Follow program rules as outlined in the housing agreement.
  • Pay program fees.

Click Here For Tenant Resources


Mark Hienert, Program Manager, 701-255-6909, mheinert@youthworksnd.org
Caitlin Schafer, LSW, Case Manager, 701-255-6909, cschafer@youthworksnd.org

Sheyenne Puetz, LSW, Case Manager, 701-232-8558, spuetz@youthworksnd.org

Street Outreach

The Street Outreach program targets various community locations by reaching out to youth who have runaway, are homeless and those

The program provides immediate harm reduction supplies. Youth are given information regarding available housing services. Immediate referrals to emergency housing is available.

The goal is to reduce the risks associated with sexual exploitation, abuse and other problem behaviors.

  • Support Services
  • Information and referral
  • Counseling services
  • Mental health providers
  • Community services
  • Food pantries
  • Housing
  • Essential supplies
  • Hygiene items
  • Safer sex packs
  • Parenting/baby supplies
  • Food


Fargo: Heather Forbord, 701-232-8558, streetoutreach@youthworksnd.org or hforbord@youthworksnd.org

Youth Shelter/Runaway Program

Youthworks runaway shelters provide comprehensive emergency services to runaway youth and their families, as well as, youth experiencing significant parent/child conflict and provide one-time drop-in, and crisis line services to youth who may be contemplating running away and require or seek only a minimal level of service (such as information and referral to other services providers).

Full reunification services are available including individual and family counseling, anger management, mediation, mentoring, and personalized aftercare services. For both runaway and short-term care situations parents or guardians retain custody and reunification is intended to happen within 96 hours, or sooner if possible. Professional assessment is available 7 days a week



Emily Yanish, Program Manager, 701-255-6909, eyanish@youthworksnd.org

Kim Ekart, Shelter Coordinator, 701-255-6909, kekart@youthworksnd.org


Cathy Olson, Program Manager, 701-232-8558, colson@youthworksnd.org

Alveria Clarke, 701-232-8558, aclarke@youthworksnd.org

Katy Van Dyke, kvandyke@youthworksnd.org

The Youth Cultural Achievement project is preventing Native American youth from entering the juvenile justice and child welfare systems. Youthworks works with  youth and their families to keep them home and in the community.

The project focuses on crisis and case management, prevention, diversion, anger management and post-adjudication efforts to prevent placement.


  • Youth must be Native American, enrolled or descendant
  • At-risk of entering juvenile court system
  • Not under the custody of Department of Juvenile Services or Social Services
  • Resides in Bismarck or Mandan


The Youth Cultural Achievement Project is making existing Youthworks programs more culturally relevant and is helping develop new services. Native American cross-age mentors, elder mentors, educational, social and support groups and cultural, alternative recreation are among the new services being pursued.


Referrals can be made by any agency working with Native American youth including
the Juvenile Court, County Social Services, Police Youth Bureau, Juvenile Services, schools, Youthworks and other community based agencies.

A screening committee with significant Native American representation will determine which youth are selected for the program.


Blaise Reagle, 701-255-6909, breagle@youthworksnd.org

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