The New York State Commission Act is created by the State Legislature to focus on juvenile delinquency and youth development.


In accordance with the Act, the New York City Council passes a resolution leading to the creation of the New York City Youth Board. Its principal purpose is to coordinate and supplement the activities of public and private agencies devoted to serving youth.


Referral Units are established in schools in order to connect children, youth, and families with community services. The Youth Board contracts with community agencies to provide family counseling, child guidance, vocational guidance, and after-school services. In partnership with the Board of Education, recreational and group services are established in public schools.


Two direct service programs are organized: a Street Club program to work with gangs, and Services to Families and Children, a casework and counseling service for those in need of extensive assistance.


The Youth Board expands to serve new neighborhoods. Citywide committees are established to study various youth problems and identify available resources. Borough Coordinators are created to work with community groups.


President Lyndon Johnson's "War on Poverty" begins with the Economic Opportunity Act of 1964. The Community Action Program is a key provision of the Act.

1966 - 1971

The Youth Board becomes part of the Human Resources Administration, and functions as the Youth Services Agency. Satellite and Youth Council programs give youth a voice in government and an opportunity to run their own programs. As gang activity diminishes, youth service units are established in each Community Planning District to deal with employment, narcotics, education, health, and delinquency. Various job training and employment programs are administered by the Agency, including the massive Neighborhood Youth Corps program.

Mayor John Lindsay establishes New York City's Community Development Agency as part of the Human Resources Administration. It is responsible for administering the non-public assistance components of the New York City Home Energy Assistance Program, the New York City Adult Literacy Initiatives, classes for public assistance recipients participating in the City and State Welfare Reform program, and the McKinney Emergency Homeless Grant.


The agency is no longer a part of the Human Resources Administration, and functions under its original name, Youth Board.

1975 - All Youth Board direct services and staff are distributed to various City agencies. The planning, evaluation, and administration of contract programs, as well as research activities, remain with the Youth Board.

1976-80 - The staff component of the Youth Board becomes the Youth Bureau. Contracts with community-based agencies are greatly expanded to include grass-roots operations, afterschool programs in school facilities, and demonstration programs for runaway and homeless youth.

1981 - Congress enacts the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (OBRA), which establishes the Community Services Block Grant Program (CSBG). Under CSBG, the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) is authorized to make grants to States which, in turn, are required to use CSBG funds to make grants to "eligible entities." The eligible entities are private and public sector organizations certified as Community Action Agencies (CAAs) under the Economic Opportunity Act of 1964. The Community Development Agency is designated by the Governor to receive CSBG funds.

1989 - The Department of Youth Services is established by the New York City Council to serve youth through the age of 21.

1991 - The Beacon Initiative is launched by Mayor Dinkins to complement his Safe Streets, Safe City anti-crime campaign. Department of Youth Services Commissioner Richard Murphy designs the Beacon program and organizes staff and resources to fund and maintain each site. CBOs are then selected to run the first ten Beacon sites. 

1996 - The Department of Youth Services and the Community Development Agency merge to create the Department of Youth and Community Development.

2003 - DYCD assumes control of the City's youth employment and workforce development programs.

2005 - The City implements the Out-of-School Time (OST) initiative, the nation's largest municipally funded afterschool program. 

The Department of Youth and Community Development is now the lead agency providing comprehensive services to New York City's youth, families, and communities.

2006 - In collaboration with the Department of Cultural Affairs and the City Council, DYCD launches the Cultural After School Adventures initiative, which pairs Out-of-School Time providers with nonprofit cultural organizations in order to connect our young people with New York City’s unparalleled artistic resources.

2007 - The Mayor’s Commission on Women’s Issues and DYCD team up to create Ladders for Leaders, an innovative corporate internship program that builds on previous efforts to provide deserving young people with opportunities in the private sector.

Mayor Bloomberg announces that the Out-of-School Time initiative is expanding to serve an additional 14,000 youth, bringing the total number of enrollees to more than 80,000. 

Celebrates 60th Anniversary as the Youth Bureau for New York City.

With guidance and support from the Mayor’s Center for Economic Opportunity, DYCD launches the Young Adult Internship Program, which helps disconnected youth get back on track, and Teen ACTION (Achieving Change Together In Our Neighborhood), a service learning program that shows young people how to become agents of change within their community.

2008 - DYCD partners with Mayor Bloomberg’s CEO program to launch a literacy pilot for disconnected youth ages 16-24. An Adult Literacy Initiative with 35 new programs is implemented serving nearly 11,000 New Yorkers.  DYCD revamps YouthLine to Youth Connect, with the intent to help youth take advantage of the many resources available to them through DYCD and New York City.

2009 - As part of Mayor’s plan to ensure continuity of youth services at 25 NYCHA Community Centers, DYCD undertakes an extensive community planning process.  Shaped by input from many stakeholders, and implemented in January 2010, Cornerstone offers both youth and adults activities and programs of interest.  Summer of Service, a DYCD-led project, was part of Mayor Bloomberg’s NYC Service Initiative. The Department teams up with New York Cares, the Department of Parks and Recreation and NYCHA and develops ten day-long service opportunities for youth participants in our programs.  Summer 2009 saw the expansion of the Summer Youth Employment Program and enrolls 52,255 young people ages 14-24 providing quality summer jobs.  The DYCD Fatherhood initiative partners with the CEO funded YAIP and provides 952 fathers with subsidized internships.  DYCD receives more than $80 million in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) stimulus funds. These funds enable the Department to develop 14 initiatives to create and retain jobs, serving communities in need.