The Suffolk County Youth Bureau and Youth Board were created as distinct entities within the Office of the County Executive a quarter century ago. Under the provisions of Local Law 28-1974, their mission is to ensure effective countywide planning, thoughtful development and the efficient management of resources necessary to sustain the youth service system. Since 1979, the Youth Bureau and Youth Board have operated in accordance with the State of New York Office of Children and Family Services’ Comprehensive Planning Agreement. This Agreement significantly expands the local participation in planning and augmenting youth services.
Since that time Suffolk County has seen the development of a network of large and small government, non-profit and private agencies dedicated to serving needy children and youth throughout the county. Working in this complex environment, the Suffolk County Youth Bureau and Youth Board confront a tremendously challenging yet unique responsibility of sculpturing the assistance into an effective, efficient and comprehensive service delivery system.
The Youth Bureau conducts monitoring and evaluation of youth programs, research and planning, information and referral, and training and technical assistance for community based youth organizations. More than 90 youth programs are funded through the Youth Bureau’s regular budget stream. These programs serve Suffolk County’s youth under the age of 21.
The Youth Board is an advisory board to the County Executive on matters pertaining to children and youth and is comprised of private citizens appointed by their legislative districts and representatives of county agencies serving youth. It reviews and approves the County’s Comprehensive Plan for Youth Services. In making recommendations to the County Executive, the Youth Board examines research and information on youth needs and monitoring and evaluation reports on contracted services. Facilitating the collection and distribution of information for use by the Youth Board are a myriad of standing committees. These committees are expressly constituted to address the enumerated priority areas of youth services so fundamental to a well-conditioned countywide planning process.
Contract Agencies of the Youth Bureau typically provide a combination of the following services: Counseling (formal and informal counseling, peer counseling, and rap sessions); recreation/cultural programs; (drop-in lounges, arts and crafts, music, sports and bilingual/bicultural programs); employment programs (career and employment counseling, job development and placement); information, referral and advocacy to assist youth in obtaining needed services; education programs (remedial and peer tutoring, education workshops); and community services (youth visits to the disabled, food and toy drives).
Runaway and Homeless Youth Programs in Suffolk’s 10 townships provide crisis intervention, counseling and other support services working to reunite youth with their families whenever possible and appropriate. Seabury Barn in Mount Sinai is an emergency short-term residential facility for runaway and homeless youth. Placement occurs through referrals by town runaway programs, the Police Department and the Department of Social Services. Residential and nonresidential services for older homeless youth are also a part of the youth service system.
Youth Services in the county are designated to serve all youth with some programs targeting youth with special needs or problems. No fees are charged for services and emphasis is placed on developing community-based programs that are responsive to the changing needs of youth and the unique characteristics of local communities.
What follows in this directory are the contract agencies funded by the Suffolk County Youth Bureau. Agencies that are funded by both the county and town youth bureaus in Babylon, Brookhaven, Huntington, Islip, Smithtown and Southampton are noted with asterisks, and the contracts are administered by the town youth bureaus through a special contractual arrangement approved by the state.
List of Contract Agencies