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York County residents looking to make a difference in a young person's life may be interested in volunteering for a youth aid panel via York County Juvenile Probation Services.

Every school district in the county has a youth aid panel, a diversionary program for children and teens facing summary and misdemeanor charges.

Instead of entering the formal criminal justice system and accruing a permanent criminal record, qualifying minors have the option to go before a panel of community volunteers.

The panel will interview the child and his or her family, then consider the needs of the child, the community and the victim of the offense. The panel then gives the child an assignment such as writing a letter of apology, performing community service, completing drug and alcohol screenings or researching an assigned topic.

Panels meet one evening every month with children and their families.

Anyone interested in volunteering should attend an informational session at 6 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 12, in the third-floor conference room at the York County Judicial Center, 45 N. George St., York City.

A mandatory training session for new panel members is tentatively scheduled for 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 5, with the location to be determined.

For more information, contact Lori Petraco at 717-771-9567, ext. 2679, or Michelle Breen at ext. 2643.

More: York County in urgent need of volunteer child-welfare advocates

More: York County seeks volunteers for demanding, but rewarding, child advocate role

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