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Administration for Children and Families US Department of Health and Human Services
Office of Public Affairs (OPA)
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Family and Youth Services Bureau (FYSB)


The Family and Youth Services Bureau (FYSB) provides national leadership on youth and family issues. The Bureau promotes positive outcomes for children, youth, and families by supporting a wide range of comprehensive services and collaborations at the local, Tribal, State, and national levels.


FYSB’s services focus on reducing risks by strengthening families and communities and helping all youth to thrive. Target populations include runaway and homeless youth, victims of family violence, children of prisoners, and youth at risk for early sexual activity.

In its youth programs, FYSB encourages communities to support young people through Positive Youth Development (PYD). PYD suggests that all young people can grow into successful adults if they have a supportive environment in which to build skills, exercise leadership, and contribute to their communities.

FYSB’s programs to assist America's families and youth:


Authorized by the Runaway and Homeless Youth Act, as amended by the Runaway, Homeless, and Missing Children Protection Act (Public Law 108-96), FYSB’s Runaway and Homeless Youth Program assists homeless youth, providing basic necessities, reuniting youth with their families when possible, and aiding the transition to adulthood for older homeless youth who cannot return home.
The Runaway and Homeless Youth Program provides four primary services:

  1. The Basic Center Program provides financial assistance to establish or strengthen community-based programs addressing the immediate needs of runaway and homeless youth and their families. Basic centers provide youth, through age 18, with emergency shelter, food, clothing, counseling, and health care referrals. Centers seek to reunite young people with their families, whenever possible, or to locate appropriate alternative placements. In FY 2006, $48.3 million was available for the Basic Center Program.
  1. Transitional Living Program grantees provide long-term, supportive assistance to older homeless youth, ages 16 to 21, who can’t return to their families but are not yet equipped to live on their own. The programs ease the transition to adulthood for these young people, offering them housing, life skills training, counseling, and education and employment support. Generally, services are provided for up to 18 months, with an additional 180 days allowed for youth less than 18 years old. A subset of the Transitional Living Program, the Maternity Group Homes program allows young women vulnerable to abuse, neglect, and poverty to live with their children in community-based, adult-supervised environments. In addition to the services that youth receive in all transitional living programs, young women in maternity group homes receive child care assistance and parenting advice. In FY 2006, $36.0 million was available for the Transitional Living Program.
  1. The Street Outreach Program funds local youth service providers that conduct street-based education and outreach and that offer emergency shelter and related services to young people who have been, or who are at risk of being, sexually abused or exploited. With the goal of helping young people leave the streets, outreach teams go to the places frequented by youth, educating them about services available to them and providing them with basic necessities, such as food, clothing, access to emergency shelter, and health care referrals, as well as referrals to other services, including mental health and substance abuse counseling. In FY 2006, $15.0 million was available for the Street Outreach Program.
  1. The National Runaway Switchboard(1-800-RUNAWAY) is a national communications system that assists youth who have run away, or are considering running away, and their families. With its database of more than 17,000 resources, NRS links youth and families across the country to shelters, counseling, medical assistance, and other vital services.

To complement its runaway and homeless youth services, FYSB’s research and demonstration projects  enhance knowledge about key issues in serving young people and build capacity in the youth service field. The Bureau’s Positive Youth Development State and Local Collaboration Demonstration Projects encourage cooperation between State governments and local community jurisdictions or Tribes, with the goal of increasing opportunities and improving outcomes for young people. The grants were awarded to 9 States: Arizona, Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Nebraska, New York, and Oregon. In FY 2006, $1.9 million was available for the program.

Family Violence Prevention and Services Program
Authorized by the Keeping Children and Families Safe Act of 2003 (Public Law 108-36), the Family Violence Prevention and Services Program awards grants to State agencies, Territories, and Indian Tribes for the provision of shelter to victims of family violence and their dependents, and for related services, such as emergency transportation and child care. These funds supplement many already established community-based family violence prevention and services activities. They also allow States and Tribes to expand current service programs and establish additional services in rural and underserved areas, on Native American reservations, and in Alaskan Native Villages. In FY 2006, $124.6 million was available for the program.
The Family Violence Prevention and Services Program’s primary areas include:

Battered Women's Shelters and Services. State Agencies and Native American Tribes and Alaskan Native Villages operating battered women’s shelters provide emergency shelter, crisis counseling, information and referral, legal and service advocacy, transportation, emergency child care, and referrals for health care.

National Resource Centers. ACF funds five national resource centers that provide information, technical assistance, and research findings via toll-free telephone numbers.

  1. The National Resource Center on Domestic Violence (800-537-2238) is operated by the Pennsylvania Coalition Against Domestic Violence and provides information and resources, policy development and technical assistance designed to enhance community response to and prevention of domestic violence.
  2. The Resource Center on Civil and Criminal Law, known as the Battered Women's Justice Project (800-903-0111), provides training, technical assistance and other resources through a partnership with the Domestic Abuse Intervention Project, the National Clearinghouse for the Defense of Battered Women, and the Pennsylvania Coalition Against Domestic Violence.
  3. The Resource Center on Child Custody Protection (800-527-3223) is operated by the National Center of Juvenile and Family Court Judges Family Violence Project and provides information, consultation, training and legal research related to child protection and custody.
  4. The Health Resource Center on Domestic Violence (888-792-2873 or 800-313-1310) is operated by the Family Violence Prevention Fund and provides specialized health care information, technical assistance, and library services.
  5. Sacred Circle, National Resource Center to End Violence Against Native Women (877-733-7623) is operated by Cangleska, Inc., the Oglala Sioux tribal organization at the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota. It provides resource information and materials, technical assistance, and consultation to Tribes, Tribal organizations and other individuals and entities seeking to assist Tribes and Tribal organizations within the context of domestic violence.

National Domestic Violence Hotline (800-799-SAFE [7233]; TTY: 800-787-3224). Available 24 hours every day, the toll-free hotline provides information and referral services, counseling, and assistance to victims of domestic violence, their children, other family members, and the general public. Hotline counselors are available for non-English speakers and for people who are hearing impaired. The hotline operates in all 50 States, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands.

Mentoring Children of Prisoners Program
Authorized by the Promoting Safe and Stable Families Amendments of 2001 (Public Law 107–133) and amended under the provisions of the Child and Family Services Improvement Act of 2006 (Public Law 109-288)., the Mentoring Children of Prisoners Program awards grants to community organizations that match children and youth of incarcerated parents with trained, screened, and supervised adult mentors. Each mentoring program ensures that mentors provide young people with safe and trusting one-to-one relationships through: healthy messages about life and social behavior, appropriate guidance from a positive adult role model, and opportunities for increased participation in education, civic service, and community activities. In FY 2006, $45.8 million was available for the program.  Through the New Service Delivery Demonstration Program, the new legislation, (P.L. 108-288) incorporates President Bush’s proposal to allow use of program vouchers to increase access to mentoring services nationwide for the especially vulnerable youth population.

Abstinence Education
Through its Abstinence Education Programs, FYSB awards grants to State agencies and community-based organizations that fund abstinence education, as well as mentoring, counseling, and other services designed to reduce the proportion of adolescents who have engaged in premarital sexual activity, the incidence of out-of-wedlock pregnancies among adolescents, and the incidence of sexually transmitted diseases among adolescents. The goal of the programs is to influence the youth most likely to bear children out of wedlock.

Section 510 State Abstinence Education Program grants enable States to create or augment existing abstinence education programs and, at the option of the State, provide mentoring, counseling, and adult supervision to promote abstinence from sexual activity with a focus on those groups most likely to bear children out-of-wedlock. Section 510 of Title V of the Social Security Act was established under Section 912 of the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 (Public Law 104-193). In FY 2006, $50 million was available for the program.

The Community-Based Abstinence Education Program supports public and private entities in developing and implementing abstinence education programs in communities across the country. Projects funded by the program must promote abstinence education as defined by Section 510 of Title V of the Social Security Act. Grantees’ interventions aim to reduce the proportion of youth who have engaged in premarital sexual activity, including but not limited to sexual intercourse, the incidence of out-of-wedlock pregnancies among youth, and the incidence of sexually transmitted diseases among youth. In FY 2006, $113.3 million was available for the program.


Administration on Children, Youth and Families
Family and Youth Services Bureau
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
1250 Maryland Avenue, S.W.
Washington, DC 20024
Phone Number: 202.205.8102
Fax Number: 202.401-5533
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Updated November 2006
Office of Public Affairs (OPA)