Youth Outreach Services




child welfare




specializing in addiction recovery





Youth Outreach Services believes in the potential of all youth to live healthy, productive lives.

CONTACT US 773.777.7112 2411 W. Congress Pkwy. Chicago, Illinois 60612

773.777.7112 • 2411 W. Congress Pkwy., Chicago, Illinois 60612


YOS believes all youth are capable of excellence. Our job is to provide the community-based support they need to meet challenges head on, discover their strengths and make healthy choices. Youth Outreach Service (YOS) is a non-profit organization focused on helping at-risk youth in the Chicago area to reach their potential. For almost 60 years, our focus has been on caring for teens that face challenges at home, in school and in the community. Creating opportunities to help youth grow YOS provides critical services in some of the highest need communities in Chicago. For many clients, the severity of their struggles runs deep. Our goal is to inspire positive development so clients and their families can face challenges with confidence with the ongoing support they need to thrive for a lifetime. YOS responds to the needs of youth where they are, whether that be within programs in schools, at clients’ homes and at our offices. We provide comprehensive services from our four service areas depending on each client’s needs: Counseling, Prevention, Child Welfare and Juvenile Justice. “Together we have the opportunity to help youth and their families overcome challenges and celebrate their success.” - Rick Velasquez, YOS Executive Director

Youth Outreach Services believes in the potential of all youth to live healthy, productive lives. Youth Outreach Services (YOS) is a Chicago-based non-profit organization that partners with at-risk youth and their families to help them discover what they are capable of achieving. We inspire positive development through a variety of child welfare, counseling, juvenile justice and prevention services to help overcome challenges such as abuse, substance use and homelessness. Since 1959, YOS has worked with more than 300,000 youth and families, providing community-based support to empower all youth to face life’s challenges with confidence, competence and dignity.


Behavioral Health Services YOS believes that youth feel supported when they have a safe place to talk about and deal with issues. YOS behavioral health services include crisis intervention, substance use intervention, and mental health counseling to help youth and their families address and deal with challenges that affect their relationships at home, in the community and at school. All youth receive a compre- hensive assessment and are matched to services that best meet their needs. Intervention services are delivered through a combination of individual, group and family counseling. 24/7 Crisis Intervention YOS believes the sooner we can reach a client in crisis, the more likely we are to see a positive outcome. Our crisis intervention services provide immediate response to youth who are runaways, experience family conflict that interferes with their ability to be at home, situations that the local police request our services to help resolve. Services include: On-site response, family reunification, short term counseling, linkage to ongoing intervention, and temporary short-term placement when necessary. Substance Use Intervention YOS believes youth are at an influential stage in their lives and we can help steer them in a positive direction. Substance abuse intervention services are provided to youth who have experienced challenges based on their use of alcohol or other drugs. Youth are assisted to understand how substance use is affecting their life in a negative way, and assisted to develop skills to reduce and eliminate substance use. Depending on the level of risk of the youth and the severity of the abuse, YOS offers early intervention, outpatient treatment or intensive outpatient treatment options. Case Management YOS believes forming solid relationships with youth to help them stay focused on their goals contributes to their stability in a program. Case management is a collaborative process of assessment, planning, facili- tation, care coordination, evaluation, and advocacy for options and services to meet a youth’s and family's comprehensive health needs through communication and available resources. Illinois Youth Centers YOS is the sole provider of substance abuse screening, assessment and treatment services at the Illinois Youth Center facilities in Chicago, St. Charles, Warrenville and Pere Marquette. These are the youth prisons around Illinois.



& GIVING HOPE LIVES WWW.YOS.ORG Uncovering the potential I I I 2411 W. Congress Pkwy. Chicago, Illinois 60612 . .

in every teen. WWW.YOS.ORG 2411 W. Congress Pkwy. Chicago, Illinois 60612 773.777.7112

Detention Alternatives YOS believes finding community-based alternatives to expensive incarceration is a better way to break the cycle of further involvement in the juvenile justice system. Evening Report Center (ERC) - The ERC program is a community-based alternative to detention for a target group of juvenile offenders who would otherwise be detained in the Cook County Juvenile Temporary Detention Center. The ERC staff supervises and counsels up to 25 males, five days per week. Through the use of our qualified staff and specialized curriculum, the ERC seeks to achieve the following goals: • Provide highly structured, well-supervised individual and group activities. • Provide opportunities for adolescents to enhance their strengths and gain new skills to reduce their risk to reoffend. • Ensure court appearances and reduce the likelihood of re-arrest while enabling the minor to continue attending school and remain at home. Day Reporting Program YOS believes that providing support and mentorship at critical junctures in youths’ lives enables them to learn from mistakes and avoid future problems. In partnership with the Illinois Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ), YOS accepts referrals for the Day Reporting Center from the Aftercare Department for youth who have failed to meet the conditions of their release and are at high risk for re-commitment to an Illinois Youth Center facility. Based on each youth’s risk assessment, an individual plan of wrap-around services is developed to target areas of highest risk. Youth are engaged with appropriate services to address risk areas and learn skills to handle them independently when the program ends. Family involvement, life skills education, recreational opportunities, pro-social activities, and education are addressed within a plan. Multisystemic Family Therapy (MST) YOS believes that the family unit is an incredible asset in every youth’s life and should be nurtured and maintained. A family-focused, evidence-based initiative designed to serve youth ages 12-17 who struggle with complex emotional, social and academic issues, as well as delinquency such as: Juvenile Justice

• Truancy and academic performance • Serious disrespect and disobedience • Aggressive behaviors (i.e., fighting and property destruction) • Criminal activity • Drug and alcohol abuse • Runaway tendencies

This program serves all of Cook County, IL. MST therapists provide home-based and 24/7 on-call services for a span of 3-6 months, utilizing individualized treatment plans that incorporate the family’s values, beliefs and culture. To prevent the removal of youth from their homes and/or their involvement in the juvenile justice system, the YOS MST Program helps youth develop the abilities they need to positively modify their behavior, while also providing parents and primary caregivers the skills and resources they need to independently address the difficulties of raising teens with behavior problems. Multi-Systemic Therapy for Problematic Sexual Behavior (MST–PSB) YOS believes that a specialized treatment plan ensures client, victim, and community safety. MST-PSB is an evidence-based adaptation of MST. MST-PSB is a family therapy program designed to serve youth ages 10-17.5 displaying problematic sexual behavior (PSB). Examples of PSB include unwanted touching, incest, etc. This is an intensive program, with therapists meeting with families at least three times per week. MST–PSB therapists are also on call 24/7 for crisis management and meet with

families in the community (typically in their homes). MST–PSB is highly focused on safety planning in order to prevent further instances of PSB. MST–PSB also works in close collaboration with the Children’s Advocacy Center, who provides trauma-focused therapy for the victims of the PSB. • The MST-PSB program covers all of Cook County. • For clients to be eligible for services they must live in a home with a long-term caregiver (or will be returning home from a placement within 2 weeks of starting treatment). • Services are free to families.

Diversion & Reentry Services Reentry services are for kids who are coming back into the community from detention or the Department of Juvenile Justice. Diversion cases are those referrals where we are trying to prevent them from penetrating the system.

CONTACT US 773.777.7112 2411 W. Congress Pkwy. Chicago, Illinois 60612

Get Involved YOS believes that when the community gets involved in supporting youth, extraordinary things can happen. The impact of YOS programs and services multiplies when people get involved – people like you – giving their time, skills and resources.

YOS’s Counseling services help youth learn how to overcome challenges and make changes needed to live healthier lives.

Check out the many ways you can get involved and help YOS do more: 2411 W. CONGRESS PKWY. CHICAGO, ILLINOIS 60612 • 773.777.7112 WWW.Y S.ORG




Youth Prevention Education YOS believes that addressing a potential threat before it becomes a problem is the best way to impact positive change. Substance Abuse Prevention curriculum - This program offers an evidenced-based curriculum designed to reduce the onset of the first experience with alcohol and other drugs, and to change youths’ perceptions about using substances. The curriculum is typically delivered in a school or community based setting. Booster courses are offered to students in subsequent grades to follow up on learned lessons from their original curriculum. If you are an educator or representative of a school, and would like to offer any of our curricula to your students, please contact us here. Pregnancy Prevention curriculum - The Personal Responsibility Education Program (PREP) offers comprehensive sex education in

the world around them and to become an active participant in it. YOS participates in the City of Chicago’s One Summer Chicago summer employment program, by serving as a worksite and by hiring youth directly to work at YOS. We have computer labs available to youth to complete their homework and/or apply for jobs. Over the past few years, YOS has employed hundreds of youth and guided them through managing their responsibilities. Please refer to for applications and deadlines. Health and Wellness YOS believes that a youth is the sum of his or her parts, including the head, the heart and the body. As a comprehensive youth agency, YOS works to not only address mental health but well-rounded youth with physical health and well being. Hands-on interactive programming offers positive social interactions, which cultivates creativity and collaboration

school settings for middle and high school students. Abstinence education is our first method of education. Our program also covers effective contraception methods. YOS uses multiple approaches to encourage youth to delay their first sexual experience, to reduce first time teenage pregnancy, to prevent second time births and sexually transmitted infections and HIV/AIDS. The YOS Teen Pregnancy Prevention (TPP) program provides supplemental activities that educate youth on how to make proud choices. Booster courses are offered to students in subsequent grades to follow up on learned lessons from their original curriculum. Summer Employment YOS believes that jobs for youth afford them the opportunity to see

YOS’s Prevention services help youth and families develop the skills and opportunities they need to make good choices and pursue positive activities.

through mentorship and education opportunities.

Urban Gardening YOS’ Austin office has a community garden with raised plant beds and fruit trees. It’s safe and calm space for youth to engage in their community while learning about nutrition and sustainable agriculture. Thank you in large part to our primary funders of this project, Feeding Mouths, Filling Minds. If you or a group would like to volunteer or donate to our garden, please contact us here. Community Outreach YOS believes that our communities are our biggest resources. YOS’s community partners include schools and educators, coalitions, community-based organizations and social service agencies. We seek to aid groups by offering training workshops and assistance needed to support youth and families as they address and overcome difficult issues. YOS staff also serves on various boards and coalitions. See all of our partners here.

Juvenile Justice J J t

YOS’s Juvenile Justice services provide alternatives to detention, services to youth awaiting court, and support for youth reentering the community. 2411 W. Congress Pkwy. | Chicago, Illinois 60612 | 773.777.7112

child welfare Transitional Living Program (TLP) YOS believes that by giving youth a little help, they can go a long way. The Transitional Living Program (TLP) serves youth ages 17 to 21 who are involved in the child welfare system, who are working towards completing their high school degree or GED, and who are referred through the Illinois Department of Children & Family Services (DCFS). YOS staff provides 24-hour supervision, helping each learn the life skills needed to seek higher education, pursue a career and transition successfully into adulthood. Foster Care YOS believes that a safe and nurturing environment is key to a child’s success and happiness. YOS is looking to recruit nurturing, supportive and loving people to become foster parents. Placement of a child into a healthy, safe home is the most important aspect of this program. Youth eligible for foster care are DCFS wards ages 12-21 who have suffered some level of trauma and have behavioral and emotional challenges. We are looking for the best possible homes for these youth who need our extra care and support. Interested foster parents must provide structure and necessities, assume parenthood of the child, attend meetings and semi-monthly visits with case workers, and make sure youth get to therapy and their required appointments. This life changing experience can last anywhere from 6 months through the duration of childhood. “YOS believes that by giving youth a little help, they can go a long way.”

Contact Us 2411 W. Congress Pkwy. Chicago, Illinois 60612 773.777.7112 PREVENTION YOS believes that addressing a potential threat YOS’s Prevention services help youth and families develop the skills and opportunities they need to make good choices and pursue positive activities. before it becomes a problem is the best way to impact positive change. WWW.YOS.ORG


WHAT ARE MY NEXT STEPS? The first step is to fill out this form and let us know you’re interested in exploring foster parenting. You can also call our foster parent recruiter, Ms. Tanya Lee, at 773-777-7112 ext 7274. We’ll walk you through the process, answer all your questions, and help you take the next step when you’re ready.

Foster care is a temporary arrangement when adolescents need to be placed in a safe place until they are able to return to their biological family or live on their own independently. The length of time could range from a few days to up to 7 months. Foster parenting is an opportunity to make a difference in a youth’s life during a time of crisis, when their parents or guardians are unable, unfit or unwilling to care for the youth.

WE'LL SUPPORT YOU THROUGH THIS JOURNEY Each family and child is assigned a YOS team leader or case manager who is responsible for providing weekly support to each family. Supportive services include initial and ongoing training, 24/7 on-call assistance, and monthly support meetings provided by YOS, as your licensing agency.

SO HOW LONG DOES IT ALL TAKE? The entire licensing and training process takes six months with YOS. After that all is completed, you will be ready to accept youth into your home. However, the actual timing to receive a youth in your home depends on the matching process and overall need for placement.

Foster parents are able to provide support and guidance for the duration of the teen’s stay in their home. Foster parents are asked to complete an application and background check, complete a home assessment and attend training. Foster families must demonstrate financial and emotional stability, responsibility and a willingness to work with YOS as we supervise your placement.

Welfare YOS’s Child Welfare program helps youth prepare for inde- pendence while living in safe, stable homes.

2411 W. CONGRESS PKWY. CHICAGO, ILLINOIS 60612 • 773.777.7112

youth outreach services

Visit us online!

6417 W. Irving Park Rd. Chicago, Illinois 60634 773.777.7112 4419 W. North Ave. Melrose Park, Illinois 60160 773.777.7112 5910 W. Division St. Chicago, Illinois 60651 773.777.7112 2411 W. Congress Pkwy. Chicago, Illinois 60612 773.777.7112 1942 S. Halsted Street, #1F Chicago, Illinois 60608 773.777.7112

Bellwood Youth Home 773.777.7112 Oak Park Youth Home 708.386.9220

serving the chicagoland area

The Need is Great YOS addresses the main challenges faced by Chicago-area youth, their families & communities

2411 W. Congress Pkwy. Chicago, Illinois 60612 773.777.7112

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