Youth and Family Services (youth under 18)

Anger Management

The Anger Management Program is a skills and education based program where youth and parents can learn alternatives to aggressive behavior.  Many adolescents have difficulty managing anger and aggression and this can impact both the adolescent and the those attempting to work with them. An adolescent’s frequent preference for using such behavior in conflict situations interferes with the positive and constructive behavior they may possess.  The purpose of anger management education and counseling is to: (1)  teach youth in high-risk situations to understand what causes them to feel angry and to act aggressively,  (2) teach techniques they can use to reduce their anger and aggression, (3) facilitate models for proper use of anger management techniques and to provide feedback to participants practicing anger reduction skills, and (4) teach parents the same techniques and to learn how to reinforce what is being taught to their children. Youthworks will be offering individual counseling and workshops for youth and parents to address the need for anger management and parent-child conflict training.



Short-Term Care and Assessment Center

Youthworks 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 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 All authorizations for attendant care will go through various law enforcement agencies. 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.



Guardian ad Litem Program

A guardian is a person appointed by the court to advocate for the best interest of a child involved in Juvenile Court. The core function of a guardian is an objective examination of the child’s situation to assist the court in understanding the child’s true circumstances and needs. A guardian’s role is to ensure every child lives in a safe, healthy permanent family. Our mission statement is “to provide effective, independent advocacy in the best interest of children before the court”.



Beyond the Game

The Beyond the Game (BTG) program is a multifaceted program sponsored by Youthworks for youth ages 11-18 and in grades 6-12 who may be dealing with issues of single parenting, low socio-economic status, social justice issues, motivational issues, identity needs, and youth who may have difficulty in group situations.

The program focuses on helping youth improve their Athletic Performance, Health and Wellness, and Youth Advocacy and Development.

Athletic Performance Training along with sport-specific training in basketball, boxing, and other sports helps youth gain skills and confidence.  A travel AAU basketball team is also a complementary component where youth have an opportunity to showcase their skills and challenge themselves with competition.

Health and Wellness is provided with monthly seminars and access to trainers, coaches, social workers, mentors, and community leaders.

Youth advocacy and development is provided with pro-social skills coaching and community engagement.  Youth are given opportunities to serve their community, address their interpersonal issues, and advocate for the community they live in.




Umoja Writing Workshops (UWW) is an educational leadership program that operates in the Fargo Public School (FPS) and West Fargo Public School (WFPS) districts. UWW Engages youth through writing workshops. These workshops are research based and informational on topics regarding culture, mental health, self-awareness, and unity. The workshops are geared for youth to learn and express their understanding of these topics by way of poetry and spoken word. UWW is developed to tackle a multitude of issues youth in our communities and school districts face. The program seeks to help youth find their voice and build a sense of unity with their peers by expressing their intrinsic selves. Behavioral issues, lack of motivation and truancy issues are problems UWW tackles by utilizing prompts that nurture youth involvement and expression in every step of learning.

UWW serves youth clients primarily in FPS and WFPS district. The program specifically seeks to engage African, African American, and other BIPOC groups in the FPS and WFPS district and FM community.



Cultural Programming

Cultural Support Groups


Fargo – N8V Youth Circle

Youth Cultural Achievement Program

The Youth Cultural Achievement project is preventing Black,Indigenous People of Color (BIPOC) 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 BIPOC, enrolled or descendant
  • At-risk of entering juvenile court system
  • Not under the custody of Department of Juvenile Services or Social Services


The Youth Cultural Achievement Project is making existing Youthworks programs more culturally relevant and is helping develop new services. BIPOC 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 BIPOC 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 BIPOC representation will determine which youth are selected for the program.




School based programming (Middle and Senior High)

Out of School Suspension

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 service.   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.



At risk (13 - 21)

Street Outreach/Drop In Services

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 problem behaviors.

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.

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



Homeless (18 - 21)

Transitional Living

Youthworks provides short-term transitional housing and support services to homeless young adults ages under 22.

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



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 18 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. 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.




Youth 13 - 24

Anti-Human Trafficking

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.



Contact Us

    Fargo Staff

    LBSW, Program Director

    Brandon Baity

    A.A., Transitional Living Coordinator

    Casey Bjerk

    Program Manager

    Lauren Bosch

    Program Manager

    Thomas Cook

    M.S., Shelter Coordinator

    Katy Van Dyke

    M. Ed, Cultural Programming

    Fred Edwards

    LMSW, Program Manager

    Kim Ekart

    LMSW, GAL Coordinator

    Jessica Fleck

    Out of School Suspension Teacher

    Caitlin Georgina

    YCAP Coordinator and Street Outreach Coordinator

    J’Neil Gibson

    LBSW, Eastern Assistant Executive Director

    Cathy Olson

    LBSW, YCAP Coordinator and Parenting Pathways Coordinator

    Sheyenne Puetz

    LBSW, Diversion Coordinator

    Samantha Rogstad

    LBSW, Human Trafficking Survivor Expert

    Megan Lundborg

    Street Outreach Coordinator

    Eril Ryder

    MSW, Human Trafficking Specialist

    Ginger Shelifoe

    LBSW, Human Trafficking Specialist

    Elizabeth Stoutland

    LMSW, Out of School Suspension Coordinator

    Madalyn Welty