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  • Writer's pictureiCare Community Magazine

Florida Sheriff's Youth Ranches

From the Sheriff, Noel E. Stephen, Okeechobee County

Residential Care

The cornerstone and pride of the Florida Sheriffs Youth Ranches is its nationally renowned network of residential child-care campuses, an array of cottages and villas scattered throughout the state of Florida offering a stable home to needy children.

The Youth Ranches Story

Founded in 1957, The Florida Sheriffs Youth Ranches has been improving the lives of at-risk children through its seven Florida locations and comprehensive programs. The Sheriffs Youth Ranches is credited with helping more than 165,000 children and families in Florida.

By utilizing the Boys Ranch/Live Oak, Youth Villa/Bartow, Youth Ranch/Safety Harbor and Youth Ranch-Bradenton/Sarasota, the Youth Ranches trained and devoted staff are well-equipped to nurture needy, neglected boys and girls, and provide a warm sense of security, guidance and tenderness.

Youth are cared for by “cottage parents,” who help develop a strong work ethic, sense of responsibility, teamwork and respect in each boy and girl.

Eligibility requirements for residential care are as follows:

• Legal guardian and youth must be legal residents of the state of Florida.

• Youth must be between 8 and 18 years of age.

• Youth must have no other appropriate living arrangements.

• Youth must be of average or above average intelligence.

• Youth must not pose a threat to self or others.

• Youth must not be a serious, habitual offender.

• Youth must be able to physically participate in program activities.

• Youth agrees to participate in religious activities.

• Youth must perform in public school setting or another alternative educational program.

• Youth must not have alcohol or drug dependency.

• Youth must be willing to work on personal problems.

• Youth must be recommended by the local Sheriff.

Intake Coordinators

If your child is a FLORIDA RESIDENT and you want to inquire about services, please contact an Intake Coordinator at 1-800-765-2697.

Accessibility and Auxiliary Aids Plan for Clients Who Are Deaf or Hard of Hearing. For the Youth Ranches Accessibility Plan, visit:

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