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Birmingham is one of the few municipalities in the country with a division or department that specifically addresses issues directly impacting its youth population. The Mayor’s Office Division of Youth Services (DYS) strives to ensure that youth in the City of Birmingham are provided with quality, efficient and effective programs and services in eight key areas: Athletics & Recreation, Cultural Arts, Education, Faith-Based Initiatives, Family Services, Health & Wellness, Mentoring, and Workforce Development.
In 1992, a Youth Advisory Commission was formed to address teen pregnancy, education and illiteracy, youth gang violence, drug and alcohol abuse, and unemployment problems affecting Birmingham’s youth population. From this Commission, Birmingham’s Division of Youth Services was created. DYS currently serves youth in Birmingham’s 99 neighborhoods, 23 communities, and 9 city council districts.
Ten years later, the SECURE Youth Task Force was commissioned to develop strategies that would help to increase opportunities for self-sufficiency, employability and the overall quality of life for youth in the City of Birmingham. SECURE is an acronym for Support, Encourage, Counsel, Understand, Respect, and Enrich. Based on the strategies outlined by the Task Force, DYS developed a comprehensive, four-pronged approach to serving youth.
PRONG I: DYS Disseminates Youth-Related Information.
PRONG II: DYS Advocates Youth Inclusion & Participation.
PRONG III: DYS Maintains a Network Collaborative Partners.
PRONG IV: DYS Assists With Monitoring City-Funded Youth Initiatives.
In 2004, Birmingham was one of 25 cities selected to tour Boston, Massachusetts’ After School for All Initiative. The tour provided enlightenment to help Birmingham strengthen its after-school and out-of-school system.
Shortly after, in 2005, the National League of Cities (NLC) selected DYS to participate in its National Congress of Cities in Charlotte, North Carolina. NLC serves as a resource to and an advocate for more than 18,000 cities, villages, and towns throughout the country. DYS was chosen to showcase its approach to hundreds of city leaders in attendance.
Birmingham and its Division of Youth Services achieved national recognition, being honored multiple times as winners of both Playful City USA and the America’s Promise Alliance’s 100 Best Communities for Young People.
With a dedicated staff, a strong commitment from the city’s leadership, solid collaborative partnerships, and diverse community relationships, we will continue to work together to put Youth First in the City of Birmingham.
Call Us! 205-320-0879
Visit us online! www.bhamyouthfirst.org
Come By To See Us!
City of Birmingham Mayor’s Office Division of Youth Services
1608 7th Avenue North