Our Mission

Build and inspire hope, healing and resilience for youth, families and communities through counseling and education.

Our Vision

Building healthy individuals, strong families and safe communities through innovative treatment and prevention services.

Our Values

Investment in individuals, families and communities

Our Commitment to Social Justice and a Healthy Work Culture

  • We believe in healing centered engagement where we celebrate and utilize the inherent strengths in one’s race, culture, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity, and spiritual beliefs in all that we do.
  • We believe in ongoing self-reflection and evaluation to check our own biases and beliefs in order to provide the best treatment and care possible to our clients and staff.
  • We believe in the social necessity to listen, empathize, learn and grow through our interactions with others.
  • We believe our staff, clients, and community can unite together, learn from each other, and evolve to serve as agents for change.
  • We are committed to fostering non-judgmental discussion, self-reflection, and best practices in addressing social injustice in order to promote meaningful change.

A Resiliency-Oriented, Trauma-Informed  Agency

We believe all children and families have unique strengths, abilities, and talents. DFYF’s licensed clinicians, prevention specialists and after-school workers have been trained in the Attachment, Self-Regulation and Competency (ARC) model of Trauma-Informed and Resiliency-Oriented Care. This cutting edge brain science connects mental health with physical health.

DFYF has been on the forefront of trauma-informed care. We were one of 12 agencies in the nation that piloted the Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) trauma assessment tool. Our CEO was invited to the White House to present the findings of the ACE trauma assessment tool and the implications and impact trauma has on one’s life-expectancy.

Our History

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.

In 1968, Juvenile Probation Council and Friends In Action were formed. These two additional service organizations would become the basis of DFYF’s Prevention services (with counseling & clinical services available as well). They merged in 1983 to form Directions For Youth.

By merging Crittenton Family Services and Directions For Youth in 1999 a new, highly effective organization was created providing innovative, culturally sensitive and effective counseling and programming to the Franklin County community.

Our Future

DFYF believes communities can heal themselves. Direction for Youth & Families completed a feasibility study with positive results for a capital campaign allowing us to expand our Crittenton Youth Center into the Crittenton Community Center on the Eastside of Columbus. DFYF, through our journey and leadership in treating trauma and our success with after-school programs, plans to combine our expertise and draw from the innovative work and research of Trauma Informed Community Building (TICB).

In addition to providing programming that has made our Ohio Avenue Youth Center so effective in working with at-risk youth, we plan to implement components to promote community development. The Crittenton Community Center will provide a place where community members may gather and open a dialogue with one another, build a supportive community and meet in collaboration with community providers of services – all in support of our goal of restoring this community.