Giving Youth A Fresh Start
In conjunction with Cattaraugus County and the New York State Office of Children and Family Services, the Cattaraugus County Youth Bureau helps to facilitate many youth programs:
Youth Development and Delinquency Prevention Programs (YDDP)
- The Recreation Programs include municipal recreation programs, and the Special Olympics.
- Youth Services. The Youth Bureau works with other community agencies to help develop and fund programs that serve the County's youth such as the Cattaraugus County Mental Health Association's Camp New Horizons, BOCES' Government for Youth Program, St. Bonaventure's Social Action Program, Olean Youth Leaders In Action, Salamanca Youth to Youth, Olean YMCA Teen & Tutoring Center, Parents As Teachers, and also some funding for the Youth Court.
- Youth Initiatives. The Youth Bureau allocates some funds to some municipal police and Sheriff's Department Juvenile Officer Programs.
Special Delinquency Prevention Programs (SDPP)
- The Youth Bureau works with other community agencies to help develop and fund programs that are specifically designed to help youth-at-risk. Programs such as the Better Business Bureau's Juvenile/Anti-theft Program, Cattaraugus County Community Action's Domestic Violence Children's Program, and the Cattaraugus County Council on Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Next-Step Program.
- The Youth Bureau runs the Cattaraugus County Runaway & Homeless Youth Program.
Detention is temporary placement by the court, providing supervision, a stable environment, safety, and continuing education for the youth being placed. The Youth Bureau utilizes both foster homes and other Detention facilities.
Youth Court is a voluntary alternative to the Juvenile Justice System for first-time, nonviolent offenders under the age of 16 who are willing to admit culpability for the offense. The Youth Court Hearing, which is held to determine sanctions, is staffed by highly trained middle and high school youth. A jury of peers determines the respondent's sanctions. The Cattaraugus County Youth Bureau also operates a Youth Court program in partnership with Pioneer Central School to address student behavior violations. All Youth Court hearings are based on the philosophy of Restorative Justice in which the needs of the victim and community, as well as accountability of the offender are considered when determining sanctions.
Independent Living Skills
In cooperation with the New York State Office of Children and Family Services, the Youth Bureau conducts weekly classes for Independent Living Skills for youth between the ages of 14 to 19. Topics include employment skills, money and home management, health and relationship issues, and more. The Office of Children and Family Services provide classroom equipment and curriculum supplies.
Children with Special Needs
The Youth Bureau administers the Children with Special Needs (ages 3 to 5) Program for Cattaraugus County. This includes involvement in the education and necessary services and transportation of preschool children with special needs.