Areas of Service include Rush City, North Branch, Stacy, Wyoming, Forest Lake.Lakes Center for Youth & Families

Lakes Center for Youth & Families (LC4YF) serves residents of the Forest Lake Area School District (portions of Washington & Anoka Counties) and all of Chisago County.


The mission of LC4YF is to “guiding successful futures.” LC4YF believes youth will be successful when:

  • Families are involved and supportive,
  • Relationships are strong,
  • Communities are caring,
  • Harmony is restored, and
  • Youth have the skills and opportunities for citizenship.


Take a moment to watch a video about what Lakes Center for Youth & Families has to offer!


In 1976, a group of concerned citizens, law enforcement officers and educators came together in to create the Forest Lake Youth Service Bureau, a diversion service to keep first time young offenders from re-offending. Over the past 34 years, the programs have evolved to include youth enrichment & leadership and family support in addition to early intervention for youth, ages 9 to 18 years. In 2006, the agency changed its name to Lakes Area Youth Service Bureau, to reflect its expanded service area that includes the Forest Lake School District in Washington and Anoka counties, and all of Chisago County. In 2017, on the 40th anniversary, LAYSB moved into a newly renovated office building and updated their name to Lakes Center for Youth & Families to encompass the family dynamic that is served.

Message from the Executive Director

Lakes Center for Youth & Families exists to serve the public good.  And, we depend on the financial support of donors like you to pursue our important mission. Because you have the right to expect that the charities you support will operate responsibly and will use your gift for the purpose for which it has been given, we feel it is important to do all we can to demonstrate our accountability to you.

That’s why we jumped at the chance to be reviewed through the Charities Review Council’s Accountability Standards initiative.  The Council’s “Meets Standards” seal provides a public, concise and accessible indicator of a charity’s commitment to accountable and ethical practices. This voluntary public review evaluates our performance to ensure that our operations, structure and policies meet widely accepted standards of accountability and transparency. The review is conducted every three years.

The Council’s Accountability Standards consist of 27 standards, which address a charity’s performance in four critical areas:

  • public disclosure,
  • governance,
  • financial activity, and
  • fundraising

Charities that meet all of the Council’s Accountability Standards are granted the use of the Council’s “Meets Standards” seal. Trust is the lifeblood of charities and achieving the “Meets Standards” seal is one very effective way to help us demonstrate our trustworthiness to our donors and the giving public. Results of the public reviews are posted online at

Thank you for your partnership in ensuring the success area youth and families.

Linda Madsen

Executive Director

Learn more about LC4YF programs and services.