University of Alabama Quad

YSI Mission Statement

The mission of Youth Services Institute is to serve our community by developing, implementing and supporting evidence-informed, holistic interventions for vulnerable children, youth, and families that empower them and enhance the quality of their lives.

YSI Vision Statement

Our vision is that all of Alabama’s children in the justice and child welfare systems have access to quality intervention and prevention services.

YSI History

Dr. Raymond O. Sumrall, whose work and contributions to the Alabama juvenile justice system date back to 1967, is founder of the Youth Services Institute (YSI) in the University of Alabama (UA) School of Social Work. Dr. Sumrall joined the School of Social Work in 1970 as an Assistant Professor. However, his dedication to delinquent and at-risk youth extended beyond the theories he taught in the classroom. Throughout his career, Dr. Sumrall worked diligently to establish programs and collaborative partnerships that were beneficial to treatment for troubled adolescents. Dr. Sumrall’s relationship with the Alabama Department of Youth Services (DYS) began in the early 1990s, when he served as a consultant for DYS in the development of training materials, policy and procedures, and programming for contract community providers.

His dedication and collaboration that led to the creation of YSI within the UA School of Social Work in 1999. YSI was created to assist DYS in the areas of program development, evaluation, technical assistance and training. This unique partnership benefitted the School of Social Work and its students by creating field placement and job opportunities for UA students at the bachelor’s and master’s levels. Several of the students trained by Dr. Sumrall went on to become leaders at YSI. After 40 years of dedicated service and contributions to the social work profession and juvenile justice programming, Dr. Sumrall retired in 2010, leaving a legacy of quality services and unparalleled vision for effective treatment approaches.