Amid the discussions of Nassau County's deficit, the cuts to programs and agencies, and the political posturing of county legislators on both sides of the aisle, it might be easy to overlook a loss likely to have a lasting negative impact on local young people and families ["Closed down," News, July 16]. That loss is the dismantling of the Nassau County Office of Youth Services, formerly the Nassau County Youth Board. Almost all staff there will be terminated.

Most residents are probably unaware of the contribution these staff members make to the well-being of the county. They formed the framework for a structure that monitors and manages the safety net for Nassau's children, youth and families. More than just administering programs, these advocates for youth and families work with counterparts across the state to identify trends, help influence the direction of state policies for at-risk youth, and labor to bring in resources to fill the gaps.

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The Office of Youth Services is composed of caring, talented professionals who for decades have served the youth and families of Nassau County well. Such an important loss should not go unnoticed.

Nancy Cohan, East Meadow