Comprehensive Juvenile Services, Inc.
1606 South "J" Street Fort Smith, AR 72901 Phone 479-785-4031 Fax 479-785-5354
John L. Furness Executive Director
Serving youth and families in Sebastian, Crawford, Logan, Polk, Montgomery, Scott and Franklin Counties in Western Arkansas since 1977.
Western Arkansas Youth Shelter (WAYS)
Since 1984, CJS has operated an emergency shelter, the Western Arkansas Youth Shelter (WAYS). The WAYS is located at 116 Highway 96 West in Cecil, Arkansas.
Emergency shelter at WAYS is available for youth whose behaviors or family circumstances cause them to be:
-at risk of entering the juvenile justice system;
-or already in the juvenile justice system due to delinquency;
-or a member of a family in need of services (FINS) due to problems within the home or school which have brought them to the attention of the Juvenile Court.
Runaway or homeless youth may also receive emergency shelter services until such time as a parent, guardian or custodian can be notified and arrangements made to return the youth to his or her home or an alternative placement. These services are made possible by grant funds received from the Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Family and Youth Services Bureau.
While in residence at WAYS, youth are enrolled in the local school district's educational program, and receive on-site classroom instruction at the shelter. Youth at the WAYS receive room and board up to 60 days, health screening, assessment, casework management, individual, family and group counseling, crisis intervention, and recreation.
On many nights at the WAYS a group session is held with participation from all youth in residence along with WAYS staff. The topics of discussion are normally geared toward issues of those youth currently in residence, information which has been obtained from staff observations, youth discussions, and caseworker input. Topics such as family issues, decision making, substance use and abuse, refusal skills, personal accountability and relationships are covered, with a focus on redirecting youth behaviors and attitudes in order to achieve success.
Please contact the CJS Regional Office at 479-785-4031 for more information.
Combination recreation room/classroom
Due to these factors, the Comprehensive Juvenile Services Foundation, the fundraising arm of Comprehensive Juvenile Services, Inc., has embarked upon a fundraising campaign to fund the construction of a new 7,784 square foot, more centrally located emergency shelter. Having the shelter located in the city limits of Fort Smith will allow more frequent visits from parents and reduce travel costs incurred by the youth’s caseworkers and family.
Help Us Build a New Shelter
Your financial contribution is needed to assist CJS in realizing the dream of a new state-of-the-art, more centrally located emergency shelter facility. Please consider sponsoring a portion of the shelter for a new beginning for the youth of today who will be the leaders of tomorrow.
Click here to view the architectural renderings of the proposed beautiful new facility. --->
The current 6,500-square-foot building which houses the WAYS is a renovated 85-year-old school building constructed in 1930 and located in rural Cecil, Arkansas. Due to the age of the building, the facility is in continual need of extensive repairs which are a financial drain on CJS. The rural location in Franklin County also presents a logistical problem with frequent travel to and from the shelter by agency caseworkers, parents and shelter staff.