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The Youth Empowerment Services (YES) is a Home and Community Based Services  Waiver program that is a statewide 1915(c) Medicaid that provides a broad array of in-home services as well as other alternative community services and supports in intensive therapeutic and psychiatric rehabilitative services — all to assist children and adolescents with severe emotional disturbances to live in the community with their families.

Waiver services are provided in combination with services available through the Medicaid State Plan, other federal, state, and local programs the individual may qualify for, and the natural supports that families and communities provide.

The program aims to:

  • Reduce the amount of time the child is out of their home and community because of a mental health need.
  • Expand available mental health services and supports.
  • Improve the lives of children and youth.

Service are provided in the following counties: Coke, Concho, Crockett, Irion, Reagan, Sterling, and Tom Green Counties. If you are a parent or a guardian, please call 325-617-2560 or the 24-hour helpline 833-626-4426.

The YES program includes: Professional services such as animal-assisted and art therapy, family supports, paraprofessional services, respite care, community livings supports, and others.

The YES waiver is designed to improve the lives of children, youth and families served. Children placed in foster care, at home with parents or with relatives are eligible.

  • You and your child are supported by a team.
  • Services and supports target your child’s and family’s needs.
  • You and your child can access services that are only available through YES.
  • Supports help your child stay in your home and community.


  1. Reducing out-of-home placements and inpatient psychiatric treatment by all child-serving agencies;
  2. Providing a more complete continuum of community-based services and supports;
  3. Ensuring families have access to parent partners and other flexible non-traditional support services as identified in a family-centered planning process;
  4. Preventing entry into the foster care system and relinquishment of parental custody; and
  5. Improving the clinical and functional outcomes of children and adolescents.


  • Adaptive Aids and Supports
  • Community Living Supports
  • Family Supports
  • Minor Home Modifications
  • Non-Medical Transportation
  • Paraprofessional Services
  • Professional Services
  • Respite
  • Supportive Family-Based Alternatives
  • Transitional Services

To participate in the YES waiver, a child must:

  • Be between 3 – 18 years of age.
  • Have serious mental, emotional and behavioral difficulties.
  • Have a qualifying mental health diagnosis.
  • Be at risk of being placed outside of their home due to their mental health needs.
  • Meet the criteria to be in a psychiatric hospital.
  • Be eligible for Medicaid (parent’s income does not apply).
  • Currently live in a home setting with a legal guardian or on their own.
  • Reside in a non-institutional setting with the child’s or adolescent’s Legally Authorized Representative or in the youth’s own home or apartment, if legally emancipated.
  • Meets the HHSC Department of State Health Services (DSHS) clinical criteria (including, but not limited to the risk of self-harm, risk of severe disruptive or aggressive behavior, family resources, and risk of school behavior); and
  • There is a reasonable expectation that, without YES Waiver services, the child or youth would qualify for inpatient care.
  • Child or Adolescent must be eligible for Medicaid.

The average length of time in the YES waiver is 8 to 16 months. Your child’s needs will determine program duration.

The Youth Empowerment Services (YES) Waiver has approved Amendment Four that allows two new services to the current waiver service array. The amendment is in regards to Supported Employment and Employment Assistance, as well as, the HCBS transition plan. For further explanation, the amendment can be found at A paper copy will be available upon request.

These services are provided in conjunction with services available through the Medicaid State Plan, other federal, state, and local programs (when eligibility requirements are met), as well as the natural, supports that families and communities provide.