access YESS

If you or someone you know needs support to navigate life’s challenges, call 515-282-YESS (9377) any time to speak with a caring member of our team.

Being a kid - or a parent - isn’t always easy. Life’s twists and turns can be complicated and overwhelming.  It’s hard to know where to turn, but we want families to know that it’s okay to ask for help. The caring staff at YESS are available 24 hours-a-day, 7 days-a-week to assess difficult family situations, create a plan, and work toward solutions while ensuring everyone is safe.

Whether families are in need of immediate crisis intervention or just want to learn more about our services, the Access Center can help:

  • 24-hour access line (515-282-9377)
  • Face-to-face crisis counseling sessions
  • Safety and risk screenings
  • Crisis planning
  • Assessments to determine if emergency shelter is appropriate for a child
  • Resources and information about all of YESS' programs as well as supportive services in the community


Evidence-Based Services

The Family First Prevention Services Act has several provisions to enhance support services for families to help children remain at home, reduce the unnecessary use of congregate care, and build the capacity of communities to support children and families. A primary goal is to improve overall outcomes for children through the provision of evidence-based services. YESS currently offers the following evidence-based services to children in our care:

  • The Mandt System
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT)
  • Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT)
  • Mindfulness Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
  • Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) (Trauma Treatment - Client Level Interventions: Child and Adolescent)
  • Child Centered Play Therapy


Safe Place

Youth Emergency Services & Shelter serves Des Moines families in need

To find the Safe Place nearest you, call 515-282-9377 or text “SAFE” & your location (address-city-state) to 4HELP (44357).

Around-the-clock support is also available throughout the community at designated Safe Place locations. As coordinator of the Safe Place program for Greater Des Moines, YESS provides children and teens with immediate access to safety through a network of agencies, trained volunteers, and local businesses. Safe Place ensures help is never out of reach.

How Safe Place Works: When a child feels unsafe or needs help, any business or organization with a Safe Place sign can act as a safe haven and connection to all of YESS' supportive services. The staff at fire stations, QuikTrip and Casey’s convenience stores, and various other businesses throughout the Des Moines metro have been trained to help any child who asks for help. When a child seeks safety at a Safe Place location, YESS is contacted and a staff member is sent to respond.

Reasons a child may seek help at a Safe Place: Children turn to Safe Place for a variety of reasons. Common experiences include running away from home (oftentimes to escape abuse), bullying or poor peer relationships, a child being kicked out of his/her home, dating violence, gang involvement, attempted abduction, or any other dangerous situation.