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About Us


Youth Opportunities Upheld, Inc. is a private, non-profit child welfare and behavioral health organization serving troubled and at-risk children, adolescents and families in the Worcester county area since 1971. Throughout our more 41-year history, the agency has remained true to its founding mission to provide youth and families with opportunities to fulfill their potential and build a brighter future, while responding to changing community needs with appropriate growth and innovation.

Today, Y.O.U., Inc. is one of the leading child welfare, behavioral health and education agencies in Massachusetts, offering more than 45 exceptional programs at 32 distinct sites, within five components: Family Support Networks, Education and Employment, Residential Care, Community Based Services, and Behavioral Health.

Our growth and success over these years has been a direct result of the outstanding work of our staff of nearly six hundred full and part time professionals – including a leadership team with a combined 250+ years of experience – partnered with our volunteer Board of 24 Directors. Over four decades, the organization’s leadership has worked tirelessly to set a clear vision, and to follow a thoughtful strategic plan.

In the past year alone, Y.O.U., Inc. has implemented the following strategic initiatives:

Launched an Electronic Health Record system -- ProFiler – which ensures compliance with all of the requirements of insurance payors, and improves the integration of medical and behavioral health care by allowing primary care physicians and behavioral health specialists to easily transfer information. With a single client chart across the agency, our clinicians spend less time searching for notes and records of service from other programs, and have more clinical time to spend with their clients. Our home-based clinicians have real-time documentation ability with the use of Netbooks, and our overall administrative and billing costs will be reduced by as much as $250,000 annually.

Our Family Centers in Southbridge, Worcester, and Gardner and our community-based programs expanded the level of in-home therapy, therapeutic mentoring and behavioral management care for youth and their families by 26%.

Expanded the services of our Cottage Hill Academy, previously a residential program for girls only, to include acute treatment for both girls and boys of both adolescent and latency ages, resulting in a 47% increase in the number of children served by that program.

Expanded our global effort to find safe homes for street children in Kenya by helping our friends at the Child Welfare Society of Kenya to secure $1.2 million in funding for adoption and foster care for thousands of homeless street children in that country.

Installed a modular unit at the Joy & Robert Wetzel Center for children that includes critical bed space, as well as therapeutic and clinical office space to support additional clients. The new modular building also includes the office of our new full-time Admissions Counselor, who serves all of our Residential acute care programs -- streamlining the admissions process for hundreds of clients and families each year.

Program Highlight

  • Thanks to funding from the United Way of Southbridge, Sturbridge and Charlton, Inc., we expanded our Family Nights events at our Southbridge Family Center, providing fun and positive family time to over 400 participants.