Youth Justice

The purpose of the Youth Justice Program is to address the needs of adolescents, families, and the community by encouraging accountability through support and supervision. Our ultimate goal is for Polk County youth to be successful and competent.

The years during adolescence, ranging anywhere between 10 and 18, can be complicated for anyone. They are tough years for the adolescent and they can also be quite trying on parents as well. In today's world, it is no longer a success to simply "get through" those years; it can often feel like an endurance challenge for both parents and adolescents. The Youth Justice workers in Polk County have a passion for working with adolescents. This passion translates into work, research, and a knowledge base that is unique to this population. Adolescence is tough enough for any child to navigate. If you are faced with other hardships and struggles in your family that are far above the "daily grind", please call a social worker in the Youth Justice Unit and let us help you. We believe in accountability as well as education.

Knowledge is power
For you
For your child
For your family
We are here to help


How do I get help with my child's behaviors

Place a call or stop in our office

  • We would be happy to meet with you in person or talk on the phone to help you sort out the struggle you are currently having. This call would not trigger any sort of formal connection or file.
  • Phone: 715.485.8400
  • Address: 100 Polk County Plaza, Balsam Lake WI. When walking into the main entrance, walk straight down the hall, past the elevators, and to the left will be our CSD lobby.
Voluntary Services

  • The Social Workers in Youth Justice are here to provide support and service to families before they are involved with the court system or law enforcement. Our values support our desire to prevent youth from entering the juvenile justice system whenever possible. We may be able to connect you with resources or work with you informally for a short time. If you would like to talk to a Youth Justice Social Worker about a youth, you may call 715.485.8400 and ask for the Youth Justice Access Worker.

JIPS Petitions - Juvenile In Need of Protection or Services

  • You would consider this process if you believe that your child's behaviors have reached a level that you would call "out of control". This is a more formal process that involves the Juvenile Court system. Please call our office and we will help you walk through this process - 715.485.8400.

What if my child already had contact with law enforcement?

You may be invited to attend a Juvenile Intake Conference. The services below would come after a law enforcement referral or a referral from a school.

Counsel and Close

  • We may simply meet with the juvenile and their parent/guardian and decide that the case will be closed


Deferred Prosecution Agreement (DPA) or Consent Decree (CD)

  • Informal Agreement signed by the social worker, the juvenile, and the parent/guardian
  • A Consent Decree is similar to a Deferred Prosecution Agreement but this is an action that begins and ends in a courtroom setting


Court Ordered Supervision

  • A juvenile may find themselves in Juvenile Court if they are accused of committing a delinquent act (a crime) or if they are habitually truant from school (too many absences or tardies from school)
  • Formal Juvenile Court supervision. The juvenile is ordered by a Judge to follow certain rules and conditions for supervision. The parents are also held accountable through a court order. Most Orders last for one year.

Is Social Media impacting my child?

We encourage you to be very aware of your child's activity on social media. This is a new way for kids to cause harm and be harmed. We in Youth Justice are passionate about keeping adolescents safe from this kind of activity and we will take seriously holding them accountable if they are the offenders.

If your child is a victim of this activity, please call your local law enforcement.

What worries me

If your child is showing behavior changes that are beyond normal adolescent challenges like:

  • Withdrawal from activities
  • Change in friends
  • Rapid and drastic drop in grades
  • Isolation
  • Self-harming (purposely causing injury to their bodies)
  • Illegal activity or drug/alcohol use

Call us and we will help you - 715.485.8400