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Systems Improvement Through Youth (SITY)

Youth Development Project

The DHS Youth Development Project, established in 2009, formalizes the role of youth in the DHS Improving Outcomes for Children and Families Initiative. The project endorses DHS’ commitment to involving all stakeholders in services planning and to improving the lives of the children, youth and families who receive services. The Youth Advisory Council, later renamed Systems Improvement Through Youth, or SITY, is a fundamental part of the project.

Systems Improvement Through Youth

Established in 2009, the DHS Systems Improvement Through Youth, or SITY is comprised of 14 individuals, ages 16 through 25 years, who are active in or alumni of DHS child-serving systems including: child welfare, mental health, intellectual disability, developmental disabilities, juvenile justice, and drug and alcohol. 

Meeting Schedule - SITY
Members of SITY
  • Contribute to the Improving Outcomes process by sharing their insights about their experiences as recipients of services through DHS; 
  • Engage in a mutually respectful give-and-take with service providers, policy-makers and other youth advocacy groups active at the county, state and national levels to strengthen the overall system of supports and services for youth in the wider community;
  • Influence the lives of community youth as well through a peer mentoring program that establishes a peer support system, promotes personal development, and educates youth about the value of having their voices heard;
  • Engage in candid, culturally competent and efficient exchange of ideas with DHS senior management and direct service staff through representatives from various DHS service areas;
  • Learn the value of youth/professional cooperation in decision-making and long-range planning as regards to child- and family-serving systems by interacting with professionals in the field;
  • Be assisted to develop leadership skills as advocates and system advisors, be provided with positive experiences of social service careers and policymaking; and
  • Be encouraged in their professional development.
Service to the wider community

Members of SITY also assist other community organizations complete projects that are related to their interests. Organizations may submit a pdf.gif Request for Project Partnership form for consideration by the DHS Youth Engagement Specialist and members of SITY.

Apply to Join SITY

You are eligible to be a member of SITY if you are

  • 16 through 25 years old,
  • Live in Allegheny County, and
  • Currently or previously received services through DHS.
Related documents

For young adults 

To be a SITY member, complete and send pdf.gif SITY application to:  

Duane Berry
Youth Support Coordinator 
One Smithfield Street, Fourth Floor
Pittsburgh, PA 15222

pdf.gif SITY Handbook
pdf.gif SITY Letter of Agreement 

For young adults 18 years of age or older, or parent/guardian of minor youth 

pdf.gif Emergency contact information
pdf.gif Event confirmation
pdf.gif Minor permission slip
pdf.gif Photo/video permission release 

For staff 

pdf.gif Field trip summary form