Youth Development Funding

Rensselaer County Youth Department administers Youth Development Program Funds, received from the New York State Office of Children and Family Services. The funds are to be used in the NEW calendar year (October 1, 2023 – September 30, 2024), to provide community-level services designed to promote positive youth development for children and young adults ages 4-21 years old. 

These services may include, but are not limited to, services that provide: physical and emotional health, academic achievement, career enrichment, citizenship/civic engagement, family and community engagement, and family support services that prevent juvenile delinquency and/or child abuse and neglect, support/assist youth in need of crisis intervention or respite services.  


Rensselaer County Department for Youth is seeking to fund non-profit programs that promote the development of multifaceted quality programs that provide opportunities for youth to gain important life skills and core competencies, create an environment where youth can grow, learn, thrive and develop to their fullest potential, and will allow youth to have meaningful roles in their communities. Youth development initiatives benefit young people in their homes and neighborhoods, in schools, as well as in foster care and residential treatment*.

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.

All funded programs must aim to foster the following:

  • Include involvement of youth in leadership and program planning activities, program implementation and evaluation
  • Provide a range of youth in leadership and program planning activities, program implementation and evaluation
  • Provide opportunities where young people feel supported and safe

Focus on asset building by supporting:

  • Positive values
  • Social competencies
  • Positive Identity
  • Educational commitment

Some examples of programs which have been contracted through YDP include but are not limited to:

  • After school tutoring and cultural enrichment programs
  • Mentoring programs
  • Big Brother/Big Sister programs
  • Peer mediation programs
  • Peer counseling programs
  • Work readiness and job placement programs
  • Youth advocacy programs
  • Youth leadership programs
  • Teenage pregnancy prevention programs

Organizations and activities not eligible for funding are the following:

  • For-profit organizations or businesses.
  • Private foundations, as defined in section 509(a) of the U.S. Internal Revenue Code.
  • Organizations that discriminate based on the age, ethnicity/race, political affiliation, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, physical or other disability, national origin or any protected characteristic under local, state and/or federal law.
  • Research or project planning activities.
  • Support for elite or private sports camps, programs, or teams.
  • Endowments, memorials, budget deficits, or fundraising activities.
  • Religious organizations whose sports programs do not have a secular and community focus.
  • Lobbying, political, or fraternal activities.
  • Capital projects.

Youth Development awards are guided by the following principles:

  • Provide physical and psychological safety.
  • Provide appropriate structure that provides clear limit setting, rules and expectations, supportive relationships.
  • Provides opportunities to belong; meaningful inclusion regardless of gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, or disability, positive social norms.
  • Support for efficacy (ability to produce effects) and mattering (be of importance) by engaging, empowering, and challenging youth to make a difference.
  • Creates Opportunities for skill-building.
  • Includes integration of family, school, and community efforts.

Funding can be used for:

  • Expences directly related to the operation of the program  
  • Supplies needed to effectively run the program
  • Contractual services (bussing, pool rental…)
  • Maximum of 15% of funds for administrative (staff)/overhead costs

All funded programs will receive an unannounced monitoring visit by the Department for Youth