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Home > City Departments > Community Services and Recreational Programming > Youth Services

Youth Services

Otis T. Barker Sr., Deputy Commissioner
Phone Number - (716)-851-4165
Address - 2301, City Hall, Buffalo, NY 14202


To provide Youth of the City of Buffalo with a voice in local government, to expand the current prevention, intervention and counseling services, offer youth workforce development and opportunities through creative partnerships, which will ultimately contribute to the re-birth of the City of Buffalo.
The Buffalo Division for Youth plans to continue to collaborate with county and state agencies, Law enforcement agencies and other Youth Bureaus throughout Western New York, and to also build new and stronger partnerships with the Buffalo Public Schools, the business and the Faith community. The division of youth also looks to acquire additional funding opportunities to include job readiness training, summer jobs, educational support and crime prevention.

Currently the Division of Youth serves at-risk youth throughout the City of Buffalo through the following programs: Youth Counseling Program, Anti-Crime Program, Code of Conduct Program.
The Youth Counseling Program offers individual, group and family counseling to youth between the ages of 7 and 20 who are displaying signs of at risk behavior. The Division of Youth also offers workshops on gang awareness, violence prevention and conflict resolution and character education to schools community and youth groups throughout the city.
The Anti-Crime Program incorporates education, referral services and community mobilization as strategies to positively address youth crime prevention. This educational program is designed to assist youth in recognizing activities that constitute a crime and its consequences. This program is currently serving approximately 600 youth.  
The Code of Conduct Program is a collaborative effort among City of Buffalo Department of Community Services, Buffalo Police and Erie County Probation Department that addresses the needs of at risk youth for violent behavior by promoting empathy toward victims and non-violent conflict resolution, providing information to increase self-awareness of warning signs of violent behavior, reviewing effective communication techniques, utilizing activities designed to foster norms against violent aggression, encouraging alternative behaviors and a healthy lifestyle.
Mayor’s Summer Youth Employment The Division for Youth is currently working to expand the Mayor’s Summer Youth Employment Program to provide 3,000 summer jobs for city of Buffalo Youth. This task is to be done by creating greater partnerships with Private Sector Employers, The Buffalo Employment and Training Center, NYS Department of Labor and funds donated through the Mayor’s Fund to Advance Buffalo.
Summer Reading The Division for Youth will facilitate the Mayor’s Summer Reading Challenge, which focuses on improving youth literacy and comprehension and rewards achievements by providing incentives to the young readers.