Successful Kids, Strong Families

Hope. Healing. Opportunity.

Making a positive impact

We foster good in all that we do. We foster good opportunities.
We promote good character and ideas, positive outcomes, healthy lifestyles and strong relationships.

We help youth grow emotionally, behaviorally, and educationally through a variety of services - each one using our effective treatment philosophy. We nurture. We challenge. We empower the child and the whole family. We help build the skills to live productive and fulfilling lives.

New Directions is a 501(c)3 non-profit agency with a rich history going back more than 130 years, with a passion to foster resilient, self-reliant families and stable, loving environments for all children by promoting safe, respectful, responsible, and goal-directed behavior. We do this through our dedicated, caring staff and our treatment philosophy of Normative Culture.

We are proud of what we do, and look forward to partnering with you and your family.
Welcome to New Directions, where change is for good.

Learn More about our evidence-based Treatment

Our Philosophy of Care

More than just words... A way of Life

We help youth & families identify their strengths. Then we help them to use those strengths to overcome challenges and build new skills - creating a foundation of hope, growth, opportunity and personal responsibility. We support the process of self-discovery and encourage the development of meaningful relationships

Our Guiding Principles

We believe that behavior can be guided using role modeling, positive reinforcement, teaching, and setting positive expectations.
We help create personal strengths using "Normative Culture", which helps to establish an internal guide for our behaviors.

In Normative Culture, expected attitudes and behaviors are called "norms".
The four norms we focus on are respect, responsibility, safety, and achieving goals.

Normative Culture teaches youth that they have the power to create positive changes in their behavior and lives.
It also provides parents, children and staff with shared expectations and a common language regarding attitudes and actions.

Learn About Our Culture

Safety

Everyone has the right to feel safe, both physically and psychologically, within a diverse and respectful culture.

Responsibility

Each of us must accept our shared responsibility for our community, and take accountability for our thoughts, words and actions.

Respect

We must treat all people with respect and consideration, including ourselves!

Goal-Directed Behavior

Each of us has a responsibility for setting realistic, positive goals for ourselves, and to build the skills needed to reach these goals.

See how we have helped families across WNY

Positive Outcomes

The many faces of success

Success for us takes many forms. It could be the day a family is reunited, the proud smile of a child who reaches an established goal, a college acceptance letter after years of hard work, or simply the bond of a happy, healthy family.

To achieve these positive outcomes, we support each child in a process of self-discovery and maturation. We encourage each child to connect with people in meaningful ways. Our experiential learning programs provide the confidence to try new enriching activities, such as Adventure Recreation, equestrian classes, and ropes courses. And we challenge youths to take positive risks and show a willingness to adapt.

Samia's Story
Read their story
The Family Tree
Read their story

Make a Difference

Help children and families succeed

Whether it's our precious time, a special talent, a unique perspective, or financial resources, we all have something to contribute!

Support Our Mission


Many concerned, compassionate people just like you are helping children and families succeed through their support of the New Directions Foundation, which supports the agency’s mission by raising funds, increasing public awareness and developing a vital network of friends throughout the communities we serve.

Thanks to the generosity of our donors, we’ve expanded our facilities, supported special activities, enhanced programs and services, and improved the quality of life for countless children and families. And you can help us continue with this important mission.

To give a child a fresh start on a successful life, please consider joining your friends and neighbors and make a donation to New Directions today.

Leave a Legacy


Throughout our 150 year history, many people have chosen to remember us in their will, which often enables them to provide a level of support considered unachievable during their lifetime. These generous, thoughtful gifts are frequently made directly to our foundation’s endowment, ensuring that this gift will continue to provide support for generations to come!

Updates From Our Blog

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22
April 2019

Child Abuse Prevention tips to Show Kids You Care

April is Child Abuse Prevention Month. One in seven children experience abuse, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Life stressors increase the chances of unhealthy decision-making, poor coping skills, and negative consequences; increased stress may result in the loss of emotional and physical control and may ultimately lead to long-term emotional and Read More

18
March 2019

Creating organizational compassion is essential

by Meaghan Barone Toft, LCSW Organizations providing services for vulnerable children face enormous challenges, in an age of fast changes and tight budgets. When interacting with a child and their trauma experience(s), our top priority is to provide emotional, physical, and spiritual safety within our entire agency. New Directions Youth and Family Services has invested Read More

18
October 2018

Carolyne DeFranco, CEO of our affiliated agency, Gateway-Longview, receives YWCA of the Niagara Frontier award

Carolyne DeFranco, CEO of our affiliated agency, Gateway-Longview, is this year’s Management Award winner given by the YWCA of the Niagara Frontier at their 2018 awards ceremony, “A Tribute to Women.” Carolyne was nominated by New Directions Board President, Christine Weeks, who also serves on the YWCA board. Carolyne, the first woman CEO of Gateway-Longview in Read More