Improving lives of individuals, families, and communities through counseling, education, and support.

Directions for Youth & Families impacts over 6,300 youth and their families each year through mental, emotional and behavioral health services. We are a resiliency-oriented, trauma-informed agency working and training with experts and educators. Through counseling, education and support programs we are proud of the impact we have in contributing to a healthy community – one individual, one family at a time.

How you can get involved

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Donate to make a difference in the lives of children. Your support of DFYF’s clinical counseling, education and after-school/summer programming is vital to our ability to offer these services in the community. When you donate to DFYF you make hope, healing and resiliency possible for over 6,300 central Ohio youth and their families annually.

State of the Child Brunch was May 8 at Archie Griffin Ballroom, Ohio Union. Thank you to all who supported and came out to see the kids!

Grand Opening Celebration of our new Crittenton Community Center took place October 24 in the Wolfe Gymnasium. We welcomed 200 guests to, as the after-school kids called it, “our new home”.  Parents and youth spoke about the importance of the Center, and kids performed in celebration of finally opening a Center that has been seven years in the making. More information about supporting meaningful change through sponsorship of a locker ($250), garden bench ($750), and engraved leaf ($1,000 and up) on the social justice tree, an art installation in the Center lobby representing the growth of a community.

Directions for Youth & Families selected as the 2022 Honoree of The Columbus Foundation Award!

We are honored to be recognized for the important role our programs and services play in bringing stability and opportunity to youth, families, and neighborhoods. More details here.


We provide services addressing a range of issues including school concerns, sexual abuse, delinquency, domestic violence, family conflict, substance abuse and mental health issues. Most services are provided on an outreach basis, in youth’s homes, schools or other community settings. Learn more.


Ready, Set, Grow is an in-home kindergarten readiness program working directly with children and parent/guardian to enhance learning and assist parents with child development skills. We provide prenatal and early childhood support through the Early Head Start Partnership Program.

After School &
Summer Programs

Our after-school and summer programs provide homework help, computer labs, leadership development, recreation and creative arts programming. We operate two youth centers, Crittenton Community Center, on the east side in the Kimberly Parkway neighborhood, and Ohio Avenue Youth Center.