Directions for Youth and Families

Organize a Fundraiser


We invite you to join us in empowering families and youth to make sound choices and achieve promising futures by doing a fundraiser. 

Who can help: Anyone!

Run a Collection Drive


Run a collection drive for items needed from our Wish list. 

Who can help: Anyone!

Support an Event


The Short Stop Youth Center’s production team creates a number of unique and beautiful items, including painted ceramic tiles, greeting cards, silk-screened t-shirts, and soul bowls. Staff help young people learn the creative and business skills involved in art production. Also, young artists produce original paintings for sale and have participated in community activities such as Via Colori, the sidewalk painting festival, and the Short/ROY Community Arts Day in the Short North.

Who can help: Anyone!

Contact Directions For Youth & Families under the ‘Contact’ tab on the menu to your left to set up volunteer opportunities or service projects!

What is your organization’s mission statement?



Directions for Youth & Families’ mission is to empower families and their children to make sound choices and achieve promising futures.

What population do you serve? 


Directions for Youth & Families staff work with families and young people to help them identify strengths and learn new skills that lead to healthier decision-making.


How many do you serve in a year? 


In 2014, more than 6,247 youth and their families received services through our programs.

What region or area do you provide services in?


Directions for Youth & Families places our focus and effort in the central Ohio community.

How and when did the organization get started? 


Directions for Youth & Families believes that struggling youth and families need help on multiple fronts. Prevention, Intervention, Education – a mixture of all three must be available so that each individual’s needs can be adequately met. Directions for Youth & Families offers programs and services for each of these categories, making it one of the most effective resources available for troubled families and children.

Directions for Youth & Families has roots dating back to 1899, when Associated Charities was established. Through many years, many name changes, and several mergers, they became Crittenton Family Services in 1992, offering counseling and other intervention and education services to families and children.

Directions for Youth and Families was born of the 1999 merger of Crittenton Family Services and Directions For Youth, creating one organization that provides prevention, education, and intervention services to families and youth in central Ohio.


How many employees do you have? 


We have 19 employees.

How do your programs or services help the community?


Directions for Youth & Families staff work with families and young people to help them identify strengths and learn new skills that lead to healthier decision-making. With the ultimate goal to achieve success in their lives, families and youth work with staff to address many issues including violence, substance abuse, teen pregnancy, delinquency, and abuse. Directions programs are offered in homes, schools, and community centers.

We are a resiliency-oriented, trauma-informed agency. All programs are outcome oriented, have specific objectives, and are monitored for quality.Crisis support services are available for clients 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Directions for Youth & Families is licensed by the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Ohio Department of Alcohol and Drug Addiction Services, and is accredited by the Council on Accreditation for Children and Family Services.

Program Descriptions 


Counseling and Clinical Services: Directions for Youth & Families’ treatment programs provide counseling, community support, and clinical services to young people and adults both as individuals and as families. Through individual, family, and group sessions, issues including behavioral problems, drug and alcohol abuse, violence, aggressive behavior, juvenile crime, low self-esteem, and child abuse/neglect are addressed. Services are provided in homes, schools, community centers, and Directions offices.

Prevention and Education Services: Directions for Youth & Families’ prevention and education services reach out to youth on the challenging social issues of pregnancy prevention, sexual abstinence, and building healthy relationships; improving conflict resolution skills and attitudes toward cultural diversity; and the prevention of alcohol, drug, and tobacco use. Prevention / education classes are held in schools and other community locations.

Parenting and Early Childhood Programs: Directions for Youth & Families’ parenting and early childhood programs focus on improving parenting, communication, and decision-making skills in order to prevent child abuse/neglect and improve school readiness. Specialized services also help teen parents cope with the challenges of child-rearing. Services are provided in homes and other convenient locations in the community.

READY SET GROW: Ready Set Grow is an in-home service that works to provide kindergarten readiness skills to families with children ages 3-6 (who are not yet enrolled in Kindergarten) identified to be at risk for not being ready to enter school. There are no fees for services.This program is offered to Franklin County families with children ages 3-6 (who are not yet enrolled in Kindergarten) identified to be at risk for not being ready to enter school 

Youth Centers: Community-based youth centers provide opportunities for young people to engage in after-school activities and enhance their personal growth and development. Programs emphasize the importance of abstaining from drugs and alcohol, violence, and delinquent behavior. Programs include performing and creative arts, physical fitness, homework assistance, computer education, and skill-building to help prepare youth for future academic or vocational success.

Directions For Youth & Families’ Wishlist:

  • Enrolling in the Kroger Community Rewards
  • School Supplies
  • Personal Hygiene Products
  • Sports Equipment

Organization: Directions for Youth and Families


Work: (614) 294-2661

1515 Indianola Ave
Columbus, Ohio 43201

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