Lehigh County Office of Children and Youth seeks to reach its mission of protecting children through prevention and intervention. The main difference between prevention and intervention is that prevention targets the population that is at risk for abuse and neglect. Intervention works with families who are already involved with OCYS.
Prevention is the proactive process that empowers individuals and systems to create conditions that promote the well being of people. Prevention is more then education and goes well beyond the individual, it is a community effort. Lehigh County Office of Children and Youth (OCYS) sets aside money annually that is allocated for programs in the county that focus on child abuse prevention. Each year a variety of agencies, organizations, and businesses complete and submit Requests for Proposals (RFP) for prevention grant award money.
Overall prevention goals for Lehigh County Office of Children and Youth Services include:
• Preventing Children and Families from long term involvement with OCYS
• Preventing children from being subject to abuse and neglect
• Reducing the number of times families re-enter the OCYS system
In keeping with our regulatory mandates, Lehigh County Office of Children and Youth has an Advisory Board. The Advisory Board is made up of community members and professionals who volunteer their time for the Board and along with the staff of OCYS strive to protect the children and families in Lehigh County. The Allocations Committee of Advisory Board and OCYS assess and approve the child abuse prevention proposals for each award year. Following the approval for funding specific programs are assigned an Advisory Board Member who is responsible to monitor the program along with the quality assurance OCYS staff member. In addition to implementing their program, the individual programs are required to submit reports indicating the impact that the prevention has had in the community. These outcome reports are closely monitored to assure that county dollars are being utilized properly. The outcome reports are also used in the strategic planning to assist us with directing where the county needs to focus our efforts and funding to be most effective within the community.