Dr. DaMia Harris-Madden, Executive DirectorThe Westchester County Youth Bureau is situated within the Office of the County Executive, George Latimer. Grounded in the Positive Youth Development (PYD) framework, the Youth Bureau is the County’s resource for children, youth, and families. According to New York State statute, “A youth bureau is an agency created by Counties and Cities, or a Town or Village with a total population of 20,000 or more, for the purpose of planning, coordinating and supplementing the activities of public, private, and religious agencies devoted to the welfare and protection of youth.”

The Youth Bureau deploys financial, technical, and relevant resources that promote the social, emotional, physical, psychological, and educational well-being of young people throughout Westchester County. Using evidenced based strategies and evaluative tools, the Youth Bureau is responsible for increasing youth access to programs and initiatives that respond to the needs and problems of children and youth from birth to twenty one, and their families. By partnering with local Youth Bureaus, educational institutions, non-profits, units of government, faith based organizations, and business, the Youth Bureau ensures that there is a cross-system approach to improving outcomes amongst young people, and in particular, special populations of youth who may be runaway or homeless, LGBTQIA, economically disadvantaged, at risk of placement, or in foster care.

With the allocation of resources through the New York State Office of Children and Family Services, the Westchester County Tax Levy, and the Department of Social Services, the Youth Bureau funds 115 plus programs annually that are offered through non-profit organizations, municipalities, and government agencies. The Youth Bureau leverages its relationships between community stakeholders and staff to afford training on a wide range of topics including best practices concerning emergent youth matters, program evaluation, staff development, grant writing, and PYD.

Youth Advisory Board

The Youth Board is an advisory board to the County Executive, George Latimer, which is comprised of a diverse group of stakeholders whose interest is to support opportunities that respond to the needs and problems of children, youth, and families. The County Executive appoints citizens to the Youth Board who have the ability and the willingness to make recommendations to the executive, administrative, and other legislative bodies with respect to the solution of youth problems, the enactment of youth programs, and the promotion of positive youth development principles. The Board works in partnership with the Executive Director of the Youth Bureau to address the enumerated priority areas of youth services that are essential to an effective countywide children and family planning process. 

The Board is guided by the Westchester County Charter, which describes a geographic methodology for selecting board members. The Board is comprised of no more than 25 members. It is expected that an average of three to four hours per month be dedicated to the board activities. Activities of the board include but are not limited to the following:

  • Attendance at the monthly Youth Board meetings to be held on the fourth Tuesday of each month from 6-7pm at 148 Martine Avenue (9th floor of the main county office building)
  • Advocacy for services which address local youth problems and needs
  • Encouragement of closer cooperation between public, private, and non-profit sectors, along with the faith based community and voluntary agencies
  • Assistance in fact gathering for Needs Assessments and the development of reports which will inform priorities for the County Executive, the Youth Bureau, and the New York State Office of Children and Family Services
  • Review and analysis of grant applications from various organizations
  • Support to the Youth Bureau in seeking outside sources of revenue to provide positive youth development services through the review and analysis of state, federal or county government grants as well as private opportunities
  • Collaboration with the Executive Director and youth-focused non-profits, to establish criteria for allocation of funds to youth programs
  • Collaboration with employers and businesses to stimulate employment for youth
  • Monitoring and Assessment in the form of site visits of the Runaway and Homeless Youth Shelter and 120+ positive youth development programs that receive funding through the Westchester County Youth Bureau
  • Technical Assistance on special projects