St. Augustine Youth Services



SAYS Programs               TRAILS Program
50 Saragossa Street           3921 Barbara Terrace
St. Augustine, FL 32084       St. Augustine, FL 32086


St. Augustine Youth Services

St. Augustine Youth Services (SAYS) is a nonprofit organization providing services to boys from the age of six to 18 who are in need of residential therapeutic services due to abuse and or neglect. Since its inception in 1988, SAYS has strived to meet the needs of these children and to provide optimal care.

It takes time, money, and love, to run these facilities and give these children the level of care and support that they deserve. SAYS receives funding from the Florida Department of Children and Families for basic services, but there is still a need for more. DONATIONS will help make a significant difference in the lives of these boys. Clothing (clean and gently used), household items, toys, activities and monetary gifts are always needed and greatly appreciated.

SAYS offers two Therapeutic Group Homes, a Foster Care Group Home (Pre-Independent Living), and Therapeutic Foster Homes

SAYS provides:

  • A Homelike Environment
 Therapy (Individual and Family) Provided by Master’s Level Therapists
  • Psychiatric Services (such as medication management)
  • Psychological Consultation
  • Social Skills Training
  • Independent Living Training
  • Referral Services


It is the mission of St. Augustine Youth Services to provide a safe, structured, therapeutic environment in which each child may be assisted in acquiring more effective coping and communication skills while learning appropriate and functional behavior. 
 These goals are to be pursued within the context of the child’s family, whenever possible, in order to strengthen existing bonds and promote a healthier support system for the child. 
 For children with no family support, it is the intent of St. Augustine Youth Services to prepare the individual child to function more effectively in a less restrictive setting within the community. Transition to a Specialized Therapeutic Foster Home, Foster Home, Adoptive Placement or Independent Living situation will be pursued with consideration to each child’s needs and goals.


Due to the complexities of our society, we recognize that the developmental process is very difficult for children and adolescents. This, combined with beginning life in a nonexistent or dysfunctional family, can often result in emotional disturbance. It is our philosophy that the majority of the children experiencing emotional disturbance are depressed due to the abuse and deprivation experienced in their lives.  Frequently, these feelings are acted out, resulting in negative consequences.  These children have learned inappropriate and dysfunctional behaviors, finding it difficult to function effectively in relationship to peers, school, family, and society.  The child finds it difficult to trust others and frequently fears further rejection. 
 SAYS provides a safe, structured, therapeutic environment to assist each child in unlearning inappropriate and dysfunctional behavior and in acquiring more effective coping and communication skills. We believe that the family must be actively involved in the treatment process in order to allow the child to work through many of his treatment issues.  Family therapy, home visits, regular visitation and communication with staff are strongly encouraged to achieve these ends. 
 These goals are achieved through the use of a series of treatment components.  These components include: psychological testing, individual and group therapy, family therapy and parent training, social skills training, social rehabilitation and aftercare planning. 
 It is the role of SAYS houseparents to model effective parenting and functional family patterns to the children.  SAYS staff must develop an empathetic, unconditional, trusting relationship with each child to allow the child to feel the security and trust needed to move through his treatment issues with as little anxiety as possible.


St. Augustine Youth Services (SAYS) provides community-based therapeutic residential services to 28 emotionally handicapped boys ages six to 18. 
SAYS assists its resident in understanding and resolving emotional conflicts, in developing more functional and adaptive behaviors, and in acquiring more effective coping and communication skills. These goals are achieved through a series of treatment components which are provided by a board-certified child psychiatrist, licensed clinical psychologist, master’s level therapist licensed mental health counselor, trained houseparents and a youth counselor.

The treatment components include: Evaluation
 Psychological testing
 Individual and group psychotherapy and play therapy Family therapy and parent training Social rehabilitation Aftercare planning

Follow up SAYS is a 24-hour, seven day per week, homelike environment designed to provide a safe, positive and structured therapeutic environment which assists children in unlearning inappropriate and dysfunctional behaviors, allowing the child to maximize his full potential. This is accomplished through a minimum of four hours of services daily. It is the goal of SAYS to return the child to his natural environment whenever possible. If this is not an option, we work to assist caseworkers in seeking the option of adoption. For those children for whom adoption is not appropriate, we work with the child to develop the skills to be successfully maintained in a less restrictive environment, such as a foster home. Prior to discharge, SAYS wishes to work with adoptive or foster families to which the child will be discharged for at least three months. This will maximize the chance of success as the child is reintegrated into the community. 
Individualized treatment plans are developed and monitored by the treatment team, which focus on the specific needs of the child.  Progress on the treatment plan and readiness for discharge are reviewed regularly by the treatment team, as well as the legal guardian and any other agencies working with the child. 
 Family therapy is viewed as an important, necessary part of the therapeutic process and is a part of the treatment plan whenever possible.  We request that families attend therapy at least once a week so that we may assist the family unit in developing the skills necessary to allow the child to return to a healthy, functioning system. Regular home visits are encouraged and a necessary component of a successful discharge to the family. 
 SAYS provides for all basic needs of the child, such as food, clothing, shelter, education, and activities within a therapeutic milieu designed to meet the needs of emotionally disturbed children. The average length of stay is 18 months. SAYS is located at 50 Saragossa Street, St. Augustine, Florida, 32084. The TRAILS Program is located at 3921 Barbara Terrace, St. Augustine, Florida, 32086.


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