skip to content

Our Media



Florida Sheriffs Youth Ranches: Changing Lives for Generations

June 30, 2023

Every success story has a beginning, and for many transformed lives, that beginning can be traced back to the Florida Sheriffs Youth Ranches (FSYR). Through its unwavering commitment and tireless efforts, this organization has become synonymous with positive change and hope. When young lives are at a crossroads, the FSYR steps in as a catalyst for change, providing a haven of safety and empowering at-risk youth to overcome adversity.   

How did it all begin? In 1957, a small group of Florida sheriffs realized the need for a residential care facility for troubled children. With a little bit of cash and a big dream, they pooled their wisdom and efforts and watched their dream become a reality. Within a short period of time, they started helping children turn their lives around to one-day become productive and responsible adults.  

Want to learn more about the Florida Sheriffs Youth Ranches? Here's an overview of this impactful program and how it is empowering young people to imagine a brighter future through education, resources, support and guidance. 


Residents at the Youth Ranches receive a complete education consisting of books, supplies, vocational education opportunities, and so much more. Its on-campus schools, tutoring and credit redemption programs help the students get back on track with their academics.  The youth have access to after-school tutoring, libraries and a computer lab to help them reach their educational goals.    

The program’s small classroom setting and trained staff help children with behavioral issues and learning deficiencies get back on track. The result? Over 90 percent of program participants graduate from high school.  

Family Care Model  

The FSYR family care model provides children with a nurturing family structure through what are called cottage homes, including a full-time house mom and dad, who work with each child to develop a strong work ethic, respect and a sense of responsibility.   

In addition to family-style living, the program uses a clearly defined model of care, making sure the children in the programs are given the same opportunities to attend school and participate in extracurricular activities as their peers.  

Residential Care  

The cornerstone of the Florida Sheriffs Youth Ranches is its nationally renowned network of residential campuses – an array of cottages and villas located throughout the state of Florida offering a stable home to children in need.  

By utilizing the Boys Ranch/Live Oak, Youth Villa/Bartow, and Youth Ranch/Safety Harbor, 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.  

Looking to the Future 

Thanks to the years of dedication from the FSYR team and the generosity of FSA and its more than 100,000 members, individuals and groups around the state of Florida, the sheriffs' original dream has become a reality for many youths and their families. As a result of their caring gifts, the Florida Sheriffs Youth Ranches now operates three residential campuses, three summer camping locations and youth outreach programs throughout the state. The Florida Sheriffs Youth Ranches is credited with helping more than 152,000 children and families in Florida, with many more to come. 

Want to get involved? You can donate to FSYR through FSA, and your gift will be earmarked to go directly to this incredible program and all it is doing for families in need. Your online donation is always secure, and your information remains confidential. You can also read more about this program and its participants at Thank you for your support.