-D.C. Children's Services Council, Vision Conference November 1998
As a county department, the Division of Youth Services is responsible for comprehensive planning for youth ages 0 up to 21 years old. The Division of Youth Services administers NYS Office of Children and Family Services (OCFS) grant funding to promote positive youth development, increase youth’s developmental assets, and decrease juvenile delinquence. The Division of Youth Services is also responsible for youth advocacy by providing youth empowerment opportunities in the community, increasing public awareness of youth issues, and enhancing community resources for children and youth through interagency collaborations. The Division of Youth Services supports legislation that fosters this mission.
Comprehensive Youth Planning
In 1998 the Division of Youth Services, in partnership with County Executive William R. Steinhaus, the Department of Social Services (DSS), and the United Way of Dutchess County, received a five-year pilot NYS OCFS grant for Integrated County Planning (ICP) on the county level, for children, youth, and families. The Dutchess County Department of Behavioral & Community Health, Department of Mental Hygiene, and Office of Probation and Community Corrections also support this planning process. In December 2000, the Division of Youth Services and the Department of Social Services submitted their ICP Child and Family Services Plan (CFS) to OCFS for period of January 1, 2001 to December 31, 2003. The CFS Plan outlines outcomes and strategies that need to be undertaken by the Division of Youth Services in order to respond to community needs for youth services. The plan also contains outcomes and strategies to be undertaken by the District for the following areas: Adoption, Foster Care Services for Children, Prevention Services for Children, Protective Services for Adults, Protective Services for Children, Other Adults Services, and Other Children and Family Services. A workgroup is currently meeting monthly to develop the next ICP Plan due 2004.
County Executive William R. Steinhaus announced his initiative of the Children's Services Council (CSC) in 1998 with United Way, County Executive's Office, Department of Social Services and Division of Youth Services as founding partners. The CSC, a community advisory committee for the integrated planning process, is promoting a countywide vision and agenda to improve the conditions and well-being for Dutchess County children. The Children's Services Council serves as a forum for a county-wide conversation and clearing house for children's services and activities, identifies and promotes key indicators for children's well-being; builds more coordinated children's services, and increases public awareness by focusing attention on children's issues. The CSC was awarded the 2002 United Way of NY Award as the "Best Community Building Leader in New York State." In 2003, the CSC published The Second Status Report of Child, Youth and Families in Dutchess County with data on 22 key indicators. As of 2003, the CSC is comprised of a strong collaboration of up to forty members representing government services, community representatives, parents and youth.
The Division of Youth Services supports the Dutchess County Youth Council as a county-wide youth leadership program and as a forum for youth concerns. The Youth Council members, ages 15-21 years, engage in a variety of activities to address the needs and interests of youth in the county. Annual enrollment begins in September with applications due no later than November 15 , application (.pdf).
The Division of Youth Services is the pass-through agency for the following state funding to Dutchess County:
Youth Development Delinquency Prevention (YDDP) targeting recreational and service programs for the general youth population. Eligible agencies include both municipalities and nonprofit or community based agencies.
Special Delinquency Prevention Programs (SDPP) targeting intervention services for specific at risk youth populations operated by nonprofit agencies.
Runaway and Homeless Youth Act (RHYA) targeting youth who need temporary shelter or assistance with independent living skills operated by nonprofit agencies.
Sometimes the Division of Youth Services is the pass-through agency for other state or federal grants.
The availability of OCFS funding is announced annually through press releases, legal notices, and notification of existing contracted agencies by July. Applications are due at the Division of Youth Services in August. For specific dates and the Request for Proposals packet, call (845) 486-3000. Program year runs from January 1 to December 31, and depending on the funding category, local matching funds are required. No program fees can be charged for OCFS funded activities.
In September, the Dutchess County Youth Board , a citizens advisory committee of both youth and adults to the Division of Youth Services, recommends the contract agencies and allocations to the County Executive, based on the priorities identified through the integrated planning process. The Youth Board’s recommendations are included in the County Executive’s tentative Budget, reviewed by various County Legislative committees, and approved by the County Legislature in December.
Appointments to the Youth Board are made by the County Executive and approved by the County Legislature. Members represent various sub-geographic areas, support the philosophy of youth development and are interested in addressing youth concerns. Applications may be requested through the Division of Youth Services and will be kept on file for three years.
The Division of Youth Services monitors all funded agencies on site at least once a year and reports to the Youth Board, quarterly, the agencies' fiscal and programmatic status. The Division of Youth Services provides updates, training opportunities, funding possibilities and emerging youth trends. Youth statistics for the county and state are available. Call (845) 486-3000 to be put on the emailing list.
The Division of Youth Services supports the Search Institute’s 40 Developmental Assets essential to youth for health and success. The external assets are grouped in the categories of support, empowerment, boundaries and expectations, and constructive use of time. The internal assets are grouped in the categories of commitment to learning, positive values, social competencies, and positive identity. For further information, contact the Search Institute. Local speakers are available through the Division of Youth Services. The Division of Youth Services offers Youth Asset Mini grants to promote youth involved projects.
The Division of Youth Services staff participates in various interagency committees addressing systems change and support collaborative grant applications to increase community resources for children and youth. Call (845)-486-3000 for further information.
The Youth Services Unit provides free, confidential short term counseling for youth residing in Dutchess County ages 4 to 21 years. Assistance includes:
In addition, the Unit offers counseling to students referred by schools as Persons In Need of Supervision (PINS) for truancy, and juvenile delinquents referred by the Department of Probation.
Office hours are 9 A.M. to 5 P.M. Appointments with Youth Workers can be arranged at other times and locations.