Built on the theory of a positive youth development approach that recognizes youth as assets to build and reinforces the guiding principle of youth empowerment as the determinant factor and ultimate outcome of the collective goals of DYS.
The DYS head quarters lie in the heart of Belize City on Youth for the Future Drive and has eight district offices opened country wide. These offices are all open from Monday to Friday from 8:00AM to 5:00PM to serve the community youth and the community at large and are managed by either a Senior Youth Development Officer or a Youth Empowerment Coordinator.
Aspirations that DYS have are inclusive of the desire to efficiently coordinate and collaborate with stakeholders, be dynamic, effective and responsive to youth, be the lead youth-centred agency nationally, and enable youth to be leaders in their community in preparation for adulthood. The vision that the department holds for young people of Belize is that “All Youth are safe, healthy, successful and prepared for a productive adulthood”.
In addition, the National Youth Policy consultations held in 2011 produced a national vision inspired by young people which took into account the country’s vision outlined in Horizon 2030. This vision states “Belizean youth, empowered to positively contribute to national, regional and international development through increased access to opportunities for leadership and self-development that promote their overall well-being and supports the realization of their dreams”.
Recognizing that there are many agencies that are catering to the same population nationally, the Government has a responsibility to foster collaboration and coordination in the youth sector. In addition, youth of Belize have great expectations of the department actively engaging young people in the rural and urban areas of the community supporting existing initiatives that are youth-led and developing new programmes. These factors are pinpointed in the Mission Statement of YFF which ascertains that “The Department of Youth Services is the lead youth-centred agency mandated to advocate, empower, develop and engage active participation of young people, at all levels, for the overall development of Belize”.