$6 Million worth of grants for at-risk childrenDec. 15, 2017 - County Executive Robert P. Astorino today announced that grants totaling more than $6 million – $2,123,000 annually for 2018, 2019 and 2020 – will be awarded to 34 agencies for 56 at-risk youth programs under Westchester’s Invest-In-Kids program.

“Invest-In-Kids is a vital partnership between Westchester County and our non-profits that responds to the needs of Westchester’s youth,” Astorino said. “I am excited to partner with these 34 agencies to provide essential services with far-reaching, positive results for our at-risk youth population.”

Established in 1993, Invest-In-Kids addresses the needs of at-risk youth in 11 urban communities: Elmsford, Greenburgh, Mount Vernon, New Rochelle, Ossining, Peekskill, Port Chester, Sleepy Hollow, Tarrytown, White Plains and Yonkers.

Dr. Iris Pagan, executive director of the Westchester County Youth Bureau, said the grants are being awarded to 56 programs as part of a three-year Request For Proposals (RFP) process. The annual grants include $1,755,000 provided through Westchester County’s Invest-in-Kids program and $368,000 in anticipated grants provided to the Westchester County Youth Bureau by the New York State Office of Children and Family Services (OCFS). Under Invest-In-Kids, programs provide academic support, experiences in the arts, positive relationships with peers and adults, career exploration, and many other activities to support positive youth development. Grants will fund approximately 65 percent of each program for calendar years 2018–2020 with the agency matching 35 percent of costs. Under the terms of the grant, all programs will be provided free of charge and must operate year round.

To help ensure the best possible outcomes for Westchester’s youth, Astorino and the Westchester Children’s Association created a public-private task force to review the RFP process. The task force designed a transparent and accountable award process for Invest In Kids, including a revised grant application and a community review board of youth service providers and child advocates to promote the grant, administer informational sessions for prospective applicants, and offer an objective review of the pool of applicants. Under Westchester County’s procurement process, contracts to award the grants will be submitted to the Board of Acquisition and Contract for approval.