Youth Aid Panel
A Youth Aid Panel was formed in Haverford Township in 1997 in conjunction with the Police Department, Haverford District Court, The Delaware County District Attorney's Office and Delaware County Juvenile Court.
The target population is juvenile offenders charged with first-time minor offenses.
Violations involving illegal drugs are ineligible.
The Youth Aid Panel empowers the community to participate in problem solving in their neighborhood.
The Youth Aid Panel consist of volunteer community members who are screened by the local police department. The panel members are trained by the staff of the Community Dispute Settlement Program and the Juvenile Court.
Panel members are volunteers and are chosen for their interest in youth, their non-political aspirations, and their variety in age, occupation, race, and sex.
A panel will usually meet once a month but may choose to meet more often depending on caseload.
Panel members receive training in:
- Delaware County Juvenile Justice System
- Role of juvenile police officer
- Interviewing techniques and counseling
- Values clarification
- Dispositional alternatives available
Police officers, elected officials, and their immediate families are ineligible to become panelists and are welcome to volunteer to help the panel in other ways.
The panel is not a court of law and does not determine guilt or innocence. Juvenile offenders must admit their involvement in the offense.
The youth and their parent(s)/guardians(s) then must agree to accept the Y.A.P. as an alternative to resolving problems. At any time during the Y.A.P. process the youth or his/her parent(s) may end the process and choose to go to the District Justice or Juvenile Court instead