TYFS Receives Funding from ARPA;

A Vital Public Service

TYFS Receives Funding from ARPA; A Vital Public Service

Teton Youth and Family Services addresses increases in demands for their services through their Building Brighter Futures campaign. 


January 23, 2023 – JACKSON HOLE, WY 

Teton Youth & Family Services is pleased to receive a $2 million grant from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), a stimulus bill that aids public health and recovery from the pandemic. ARPA is part of the State and Local Fiscal Recovery Fund (SLFRF), which provides governments in our country with the resources they need to “maintain vital public services, even amid declines in revenue resulting from the crisis” and “respond to the far-reaching public health and negative economic impacts of the pandemic.” The state awarded $83 million total in funding to support Health and Human Service Infrastructure in Wyoming, with a focus on Behavioral Health projects.

In Wyoming, these far-reaching public health concerns are no exception. TYFS alone has seen a 75% increase in forensic interviews (a specialized interview for children who have made serious allegations of abuse), a 61% increase in families receiving therapeutic and respite services, and a 46% increase in youth residential care. 

This $2 million from the ARPA fund, alongside $7 million in private commitments and $2 million from public vote on the SPET ballot, sets Teton Youth and Family Services $4 million away from their goal of $15 million for Building Brighter Futures. The comprehensive campaign supports critical building renovations at the Hirschfield Center, Van Vleck Group Home, and Red Top Meadows Residential Facility — allowing enhanced programming in safe, welcoming spaces for young people navigating crises and seeking hope. In addition, the campaign will expand existing programming, such as early intervention outreach in schools, and ensure long-term sustainability for TYFS services and staff.

“During the pandemic it became evident that while other providers were serving clients virtually, we were deemed an ‘essential service’ and remained fully operational to provide lifesaving care to youth and families in need. TYFS offers critically important services to our state— especially as Wyoming has the highest suicide rate in the nation. These resources, in an acute crisis, can literally be the difference between life and death,” states Sarah Cavallaro, Executive Director of Teton Youth and Family Services.

The $15 million campaign is designed to represent the partnership between local government, state government and the private sector to ensure the ‘health, safety, and welfare needs of our citizens are met,’ as charged by state statute. Our programs are essential components of the mental health continuum of care for youth, with the goal that no child progresses to a higher level of care after completing their time with us. Our schools, law enforcement, hospitals, and judicial system rely heavily on TYFS — our services improve the quality of life for everyone in our communities.”

With the large increases in demands for services that TYFS has seen since the pandemic, the $2 million in government relief aid will help provide the crucial framework for answering mental health concerns in our community, and build a bright future for our youth.