News And Insights

[Podcast] Episode 7: A Successful Staffing Story of a Juvenile Facility with Michael Grassmyer, Abraxas Youth and Family Services


Recruiting Unlocked is joined by special guest Michael Grassmyer, the Executive Director of Abraxas Youth Center. This episode is Part 1 of 2 total in the series with Michael Grassmyer. In this episode, we discuss the staffing success story that is Abraxas Youth Center located in South Mountain, PA. Michael describes the facility and the successful programs they have implemented there for the children and the staff.

Juvenile Detention Staffing

ABC covered the critical importance of adequate staffing in juvenile facilities.
Youth are having to be placed farther away from their communities because of staffing shortages, which means their families are more likely to skip visits. Children and youth lose a local connection and support system. While rehabilitation is necessary, disconnection from family often does more harm than good. However, these children and youth have to go where the beds are available. Bed availability directly correlates to sufficient staffing levels. So, if a facility is understaffed, it directly affects their ability to serve their communities. It also affects their bottom line.

In March 2023, PA had 513 licensed detention center beds, but only 366 were operational due to staffing shortages.  Not only is it important that children and youth stay close to home to maintain connections, but it’s also incredibly important that juvenile detention can accommodate all offenders because of the often-violent nature of their cases. If we don’t have the ability to detain violent offenders, our communities have a serious safety risk at hand.

Staffing shortages can be addressed by increasing wages, creating more pathways for professional development, and fixing broken interview processes. Make sure to listen to the podcast to hear how Michael has maintained staffing levels.

Get In Touch With Us

Interested in learning more about Ascend Career Services? Email us at or contact us via phone at 717-477-2745.

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