Working To Prevent Child Abuse

Child abuse in the United States is a significant problem.  In 2007, approximately 5.8 million children were  involved in an estimated 3.2 million child abuse reports and allegations.  Almost five children die every day as a result of abuse; 3 out of 4 are 4 years old or younger.  It is estimated that 1 out of 5 girls and 1 out of 7 boys will be sexually abused by the time they reach their 18th birthday.  90% report being sexually abused by  someone that they know and 68% report being abused by a family member.  Over 60% of patients in substance abuse treatment centers report being sexually victimized as children.  Child abuse occurs at every socioeconomic level, across ethnic and cultural lines, within all religions and at all levels of education.  The  estimated annual cost for child abuse and neglect in the United States for year 2007 was $104 billion.  All statistics from 

In Wyoming, by statute, all counties are required to have a Child Protection Team (CPT) that serves the purpose of tracking and monitoring cases where abuse has taken place.  In Teton County, our CPT meets weekly with many collaborating agencies including the School District, County Attorney’s Office, Jackson Hole Community Counseling Center, Teton County Victim Services, Department of Family Services and the Hirschfield Center.  As a team, we discuss cases and try to ensure that child victims are receiving the most appropriate services, however our vision is much larger.

Through the Hirschfield Center we facilitate mandatory reporting and child abuse trainings to Teton County schools, day care facilities, Teton County Parks and Recreation as well as church groups.  Through this approach of educating professionals in the community that spend significant amounts of time with children, we hope to identify kids where ‘something just doesn’t seem quite right.’  Sometimes these children have experienced abuse or perhaps there is a budding mental health issue, but the goal remains the same: provide early intervention.

Through the Hirschfield Center’s Family Advocate Project, we will complete a comprehensive family assessment, write a report and make recommendations for the family.  These families come to the Hirschfield Center through a number of different channels including Department of Family Services, the Counseling Center, the Court System, School District or self referral.  We will work with a family on a number of different issues including parenting education, appropriate consequences and structure for their household, and counseling and referrals to appropriate community agencies.  Our advocates will often spend over 2 hours per week with a Hirschfield Center client in order to assist in helping the family function at a higher level.


Red Top Meadows Teams up with Department of Vocational Rehabilitation

Armed with freshly printed resumes, prepared for potential interview questions, and excited to ask employers questions of their own, the students of Red Top Meadows recently took part in mock interviews with real employers from local businesses. Avery Bedford, a teacher from the Department of Vocational Rehabilitation, along with Jamie Lasden, Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor, worked with the teaching staff at Red Top Meadows to organize a career exploration course. The resulting course was an engaging, relevant, and comprehensive tour of finding, obtaining, and continuing employment. The course started in November and culminated with the mock interviews the last week of January. Students spent time deciding what careers and potential after school jobs would be right for them. They filled out job applications, developed resumes, found appropriate jobs, discovered who to contact for employment, and learned how to present well to employers. Prior to the mock interviews, the students took a field trip to meet with local employers and discover some potential jobs within the valley. Additionally, Avery worked individually with our high school aged students to identify goals and resources for the future. Since beginning to work with Avery, one of our students has secured a consistent volunteer position with the Animal Adoption Center. That volunteer work is providing priceless on-the-job experience. While Avery’s work with the school has wrapped up for now, she continues to work with individual high school students and fosters career and employment awareness as well as future planning.

Challenge Grant Met!!!

Teton Youth and Family Services has the good fortune of having a large number of great friends and supporters through both good and difficult times. However, there are a few friends of the agency that really stand out. This past summer two of them (two couples) generously agreed to fund a 2 for 1 challenge grant for $100,000. The plan was for every $2 we brought in to be matched by $1, with the end result being a total income of $300,000. We decided to increase the challenge by only counting new or increased donations. Many of you have received letters, requests and invitations from us and have responded generously. We are excited to let you know, as of February 15th we have met the challenge! To receive that level of support validates the importance of our work and your commitment to children and families.

Those dollars have and will be used to fill the funding gap from reduced income from the State to maintain staff, facilities, and equipment so we can continue the valuable programs that serve hundreds of children each year. Programs that help children and families avoid crisis and others to help them out of crisis. I hope you will take a little time to read about some of those programs in the following articles.

THANK YOU to all of our generous donors throughout this year and especially to our Challenge Grant underwriters!

Challenge Grant Offers Opportunity for Kids!

We are nearing the completion of a Challenge from two families to raise $200k– with a match of $100k! We have $55k left to go and we need your help! Each new or expanded gift is eligible for a 50% match. Please consider TYFS in your year-end giving and choose an item to support from our CARE MENU.


Peaks and Valleys Film

More Than 400 Support Children and Families in Teton County


On October 25th, 2016 more than 400 people celebrated at the Center for the Arts Theater to revel in the work of Teton Youth and Family Services. Among the stars were Representative Ruth Ann Petroff, Representative Andy Schwartz, Emmy Award winning filmmaker Mark Muheim, entrepreneur Mitch Dann, Community Foundation Director Katharine Conover, Directors and Case Workers Arty Polo, Ben Brettell, and Jeremy Silcox, Teacher and Student Aid Erin Silcox and Michael Batdorf, Wilderness Director Kyle Barrus, Therapist Dick Lundeen and the celebrated Executive Director Bruce Burkland. TYFS is a celebrated social service organization that “helps children and families find their way to fulfilling and constructive lives.”

Highlights included a summary of services about the Hirschfield Center for Children, Van Vleck Group Home and Adams Canyon Crisis Shelter, and Red Top Meadows Residential Treatment Center. With a moving discussion about suicide and the increased pressure on families in Jackson Hole. The evening proved to show the community’s support of children and families as well as provide an opportunity for discussion of the organization’s increased funding need due to the State of Wyoming budget reductions which will leave the organization in need of $800k to continue care.

Teton Youth and Family Services provides services to more than 800 children and families each year and has an 85% success rate with those they work with in residential care. To learn more or schedule a tour of the facility please e-mail or call 307-413-2767.

2015 TYFS Annual Report

ANNUAL REPORT 2015– Learn about who we are, who we serve, and what our associated metrics are for Calendar Year 2015.