A LOOK BACK AT TCYSB’S FIRST ANNIVERSARY – The Citizen News, February 1972
In a converted brick house on route 5, close enough to the St. Mary’s County line to be considered home in either Charles or the Mother County, a group of “youth advocates” quietly celebrated its first anniversary recently.
The year old band of social workers is known as the Tri-County Youth Services Bureau, and serves the young from Charles, St. Mary’s, and Calvert Counties.
During its year-long existence, the youth bureau has counselled 199 young people who were either headed for or had already had the misfortune to visit juvenile court. “We’re geared toward the people who have problems,” clinical services director Dr. Robert M. Freidman explained about the youth bureau’s aim. Parents also benefit from the bureau’s efforts as well. Director Frank D. Mudd, Jr., claimed, “More often than not, its’ the parents and not the kids, who have problems.”
The administrators of the bureau, Freidman and Mudd, are quick to admit that all the young people they have a chance to counsel don’t come away with the urge to dedicate themselves to a life of community involvement. “We get responses from people who should know better who think we’re miracle workers. Vice principals or teachers will call and say, “Well, he visited the youth bureau and he’s still acting up in class.”
The counseling the youth bureau performs is a delicate art, according to director Mudd. “We can’t really advertise and we don’t force kids to come back. If they come here, it’s because they want to.”
How do you convince a kid in trouble to willfully return to talk over the things most painful to him or her? “Well, we have enough faith in people to feel that, if they realize they have a problem, they will seek help,” Dr. Freidman commented.
Originally designed as an analyst agency for juveniles requiring psychological evaluation pending a court sentencing, the youth bureau has branched out into preventive medicine of sorts. “We still do the evaluations, but now we try to help before they get into court,” said Mudd.
Perhaps the most attractive element of the youth bureau to a kid in trouble is the knowledge gained by testimony of friends who have been there, that discussions with a counselor are completely confidential. “That is rare, for an official agency,” remarked Mudd. “We don’t even discuss what juveniles tell us with their parents – unless they want to,” he promised.
Dr. Freidman, now overlooking the much blamed generation gap as a cause for parent-child difficulties, commented, “It’s more than a gap. There are a lot of people not listening to each other. The use of drugs is a symptom of unhappiness, of feeling all alone out there.”
As for the youth bureau’s attempt at reaching the juvenile group, the agency has opened field offices at Good Shepherd Methodist Church in St. Charles City, which is open on Wednesday afternoons from 2:30pm to 6:00pm; at Frank Knox Elementary School in Lexington Park, open on Thursday evenings from 6pm to 9pm, and at Calvert County Junior High School, open from 2pm to 4pm on Thursday afternoons.
Expansion is probable, said Mudd, with a lean toward decentralization, added Freidman. After the pair of administrators revealed that at least 60 percent of all the girls who visit the youth bureau have, at one time or another, run away from home, the reasons for expansion are obvious.
LOOK AT US NOW……..2016
• What is now housed in that brick building on Route 5?
• Where is TCYSB located today?
• What are our office hours?
• What is our mission statement?
• How many youth did we serve in Fiscal Year 2016?