NYS Success Story: Cattaraugus County

On April 25th, 2016, Directions in Independent Living’s Statewide Systems Advocate Coordinator, Katelynn Smith, hosted and coordinated a focus group study that mainly focused on Allegany and Cattaraugus Counties. Involved within this study were parents, service providers, and youth.

The purpose of this study was to provide information to other service providers, as well as sharing thoughts and ideas of creating youth services in Allegany County. This event established feedback from youth, parents, and service providers. The feedback involved limited resources/services available to youth. Samples of feedback included:

  1. All agencies in Allegany and Cattaraugus counties should collaborate in the Outreach, information, and referral process for all programs
  2. More fundraising for continuing youth programs
  3. YOUTH POWER to become more involved within both counties.
  4. More education on Mental Health and how to work with Mental Health barriers

All 13 individuals were in favor of creating a Youth Council as the first step. During business travel, statewide Systems advocate Coordinator, Katelynn Smith, spoke with Senator Young about establishing a Youth Council, as well as creating more services for Youth. Alongside with Senator Young’s referral to the Allegany County Youth Bureau, an Allegany County organization has cooperated to establish a meeting with SSAN member, Katelynn Smith.

For questions, concerns, or details about this event, please contact Statewide Systems Advocate & Disability Resource Coordinator at 716.373.4602, Ext. 30.