March 30, 2022
Youth Engagement Program Announced; Effective July 1st
Youth Services Director Megan Traficano is pleased to announce the new Youth Engagement Program (formerly known as the Youth Interventionist Program) in the Youth Services Department for Oak Park and River Forest Townships. The Youth Engagement Program (YEP) will focus on individual mental health counseling for youth, community engagement with youth and partner agencies and provide youth mentoring as needed. The name change was a collaboration between the Oak Park Township Board of Trustees, River Forest Township Board of Trustees, Youth Services staff members, the Youth Services Committee and several community partners. Jonathan Brown, Youth Engagement Program Manager stated “We decided on naming the program Youth Engagement Program because the word ‘Engagement’ represents the Community Outreach focus, the Mentoring aspect of our program, but most importantly the Mental Health Services that our program provides. While we will always recognize the groundbreaking impact that the Interventionist program had within this community for nearly three decades, our goal in Youth Services is to continue to focus on the everchanging needs of the youth in the Oak Park and River Forest communities.”
“Over the past 3 years I have seen an increased need for mental health services for youth. The new Youth Engagement Program will help fill in that gap in the communities,” said Youth Services Director Megan Traficano. The Youth Engagement Program employs all Master Level Social Workers, and is supervised by Megan Traficano, who is also a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW). All the staff receive LCSW training hours and will take their licensing exams when their hours are complete. “I am very proud of the team we have put together for the Youth Engagement Program; we have a very diverse staff, led by Jonathan Brown, who can meet the needs of youth in the communities.”
The Youth Engagement Program will go into effect July 1, 2022, at the start of the new Intergovernmental Agreement (IGA) cycle. The Youth Engagement Program is supported by the IGA between 9 taxing bodies, Oak Park Township, River Forest Township, District 200, District 97, District 90, Oak Park Public Library, Park District of Oak Park, River Forest Public Library, and River Forest Park District.