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History

Bay Area Youth Services, Inc., D/B/A BAYS Florida was organized and chartered as a Florida Not-For-Profit Corporation on April 19, 1982. The agency, founded by William F. Bowman, was developed with the objective of improving the quality of life and increasing the potential of Florida’s youth. Since that time, BAYS has provided high quality and professional youth and family services throughout the State of Florida. Over a 30+ year history BAYS has grown into a multi-faceted organization with 15 office locations and nearly 100 employees.

Over the years, BAYS has provided a variety of delinquency prevention, diversion, and intervention services, with our strength and expertise mainly demonstrated in serving juvenile justice populations with various case management models. BAYS was the original Hillsborough and Manatee County Juvenile Alternative Services Program (JASP) provider from 1982 to 2000, the Polk, Hardee and Highlands County JASP provider from 1986 to 2000, and the Level Two and Aftercare/Conditional Release provider from 1994 until 2007.

In 2000, BAYS was instrumental in the development of the Intensive Delinquent Diversion Program (IDDS). The agency provided IDDS in multiple judicial circuits from 2000 to 2013. In 2013 BAYS worked closely with the Florida Department of Juvenile Justice to transition its IDDS programs to the Juvenile Diversion Alternatives Program (JDAP) model. BAYS currently provides JDAP throughout the State of Florida.

BAYS also served as a collaborative partner of the innovative Prodigy Program.  Created in the year 2000 Prodigy is a research-based prevention, intervention and diversion program for at-risk youth ages 7-17. Prodigy uses visual and performing arts as a way to reach youth who live in high risk neighborhoods or who have been diverted or adjudicated from the juvenile justice system. BAYS provided the diversion case management programming component of Prodigy for many years.

BAYS has provided several other youth and family support services over the years. The organization has extensive experience as a contract service provider serving such organizations as: the Florida Department of Juvenile Justice, Department of Health and Rehabilitative Services, U.S. Department of Labor, Children’s Board of Hillsborough County, Selby Foundation, Suncoast Workforce Board, Evidence Based Associates, University Area Community Development Center (UACDC), the University of South Florida, and the Homebuilder’s Institute.

In 2015 BAYS re-branded and transitioned to a new agency name (D/B/A) BAYS Florida. This effort was a direct result of our service expansion throughout the State of Florida and the commitment to serve and inspire change in individuals, families, and communities. Our organizational mission and vision statements were also updated along with our name and logo.

Mission Statement

BAYS Florida works with individuals, families, and communities to inspire change, growth, and success.

Vision Statement

A Florida that believes in the value and worth of all people and their ability to change, grow, and succeed

The BAYS staff and leadership look back over the past years with a proud sense of accomplishment, and many fond memories. We also look forward to the future, and all of its opportunities for helping youth and families. With a lot of hard work, high quality staff members, the support of our community partners, and a little luck, we’ll successfully continue our mission for many years to come.