Cooper said that on average, the LCYDC serves about 120 children a day, and despite the pandemic and the dangers staff have faced during it, the youth development center has remained open for the children it cares about. occupied.
“We never locked our doors and the lights never went out, 24/7,” Cooper said. “It took a lot of courage, because our employees didn’t know what they were getting into. We didn’t know what this plague was or how it was going to affect us, but we continued to serve our children and we have our staff to thank for being there.
While able to maintain operations and remain an accredited institution, LCYDC has experienced an increased need for the residential services it provides to its children due to the pandemic.
“A lot of homes are under pressure, families aren’t working and kids aren’t coming out of homes,” Cooper said. “There’s a lot more domestic violence and a lot more drug abuse and use, which drives the numbers up.
“We cannot serve the number of referrals we receive because we serve children statewide. … But for the kids we get in, we have about an 80% success rate, which means they leave here and don’t re-offend and become part of the system once they’re gone.