Youth Development Policy Statement

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The New York State Office of Children and Family Services (OCFS) serves New York’s public by promoting the safety, permanency and well-being of our children, families and communities.


OCFS is committed to the promotion and development of self-sufficient families and individuals. OCFS expects that all children and youth in programs operated or regulated by OCFS will receive:

OCFS believes that creating conditions that promote the development of children, youth and families is a responsibility shared by all. OCFS is committed to working inclusively and collaboratively within our own agency and with other state agencies, local governments, community-based agencies, schools, young people, their families and communities as a whole to promote and advance the principles and practices of youth development. The goal is to create an array of practices and tools that help and support young people preparing for college, work and life.

The purpose of this youth development policy statement is to encourage the use of youth development principles that help youth achieve developmental assets and skills that support a successful transition to self-sufficiency. These assets include the following broad development domains: physical, intellectual, psychological, emotional, and social.

Components of Quality Youth Development Programming

OCFS seeks to promote the development of multifaceted quality programs that will create an environment where youth can grow, learn, thrive and develop to their fullest potential. Quality youth development programs for children and youth should include the following features*:

These strategies cut across all disciplines that help children grow from early childhood, through adolescence and into adulthood to become competent and healthy adults, and develop to their full potential.

How do I get funding to start a youth development program in my community?

You may find out what youth development funding initiatives and opportunities are available for your community by contacting the OCFS regional youth development specialist who covers your geographic area:
Main Office: 518-474-4110
New York City Office: 212-383-4703