Reengagement in Los Angeles

In 2012, Los Angeles Unified School District and the City of Los Angeles Economic and Workforce Development Department implemented a new systematic partnership approach, with the goal of reengaging the city’s 100,000 out of school youth.

Staff from the partner agencies, as well as community-based providers, collaborate toward this goal at 16 YouthSource centers spread throughout the city. Los Angeles provides one of the few models of multi-site reengagement efforts. LAUSD Pupil Service and Attendance (PSA) Counselors working at the YouthSource Centers work closely with students to determine the best education placement going forward. Crucially, PSA counselors at YouthSource centers have access to student records, to inform  the assessment and referral process. 

Engaging and supporting students often requires more than a school placement. YouthSource Centers provide many services; available under the same roof as the PSA Counselor.  Services fall under one of three categories – prevention, group intervention, and individual intervention.

Promising Practices

  • Presence of an LAUSD Pupil Service and Attendance counselor to review students' academic history and develop a referral and re-enrollment plan
  • Co-locating educational assessment and referral with workforce supports and training, and in some cases with alternative schools-- all to make services easily accessible to youth.
  • Piloting co-location of education assessment and referral at additional locations, specifically city-run FamilySource centers designed to connect families to benefits and supports. 

PSA counselors  help students transition from the YouthSource center to a school. The in-depth academic assessment provides feedback for the Youth and the counselor on the various pathways available to complete a high school diploma. The Boyle Heights YouthSource Center also hosts the Los Angeles Reconnections Academy (LARCA). Students enrolled in LARCA take courses at a local community college to earn the credentials and to develop the skills needed to enter the healthcare industry.