Youth and Family Services
Youth and Family Services Mission
Youth and Family Services provides programs and services that address youth through the implementation of mental health therapy and resources, restorative justice practices, prevention services and resources, group facilitation, trainings and education, and collaboration with other community partners and agencies on youth needs. Youth and Family Services is committed to promoting positive opportunities for youth and families and to helping the youth and their families access needed services.
Youth Engagement Program
The Youth Engagement Program offers a variety of free services to support the mental health and wellness of youth ages 6-18. If you've experienced a crisis or trauma, are feeling anxious or depressed and/or aren't sure where to start, our Youth Engagement staff are trained to assist you. The Youth Engagement Team provides individual counseling and group counseling to assist if you are experiencing any of the following:
- Behavioral Challenges
- Gang Involvement
- And other stressors
We also have a mentoring program designed to support you in identifying and achieving your goals.
Please click below to view, print and/or download a referral form.
Girls on the Rise is a unique and innovative program designed specifically for girls of girl in grades 3rd-8th grade. The goal of the program is to empower girls and provide them with tools to improve self-esteem, celebrate their cultural heritage, learn self awareness and strengthen interpersonal relationships to prepare them for a successful transition to high school and adulthood.
Girls on the Rise is available and free to those currently attending: Percy Julian Middle School, Gwendolyn Brooks Middle School, Roosevelt Middle School and Willard Elementary School. To learn more about the program please contact Girls on the Rise Manager Dominique Hickman at email@example.com.
Communities struggling with sensitive issues such as substance and alcohol misuse, Suicide and or violence can find support from Oak Park Township Prevention Services Programs. Our staff provides access to the tools, resources, support groups and services agencies that address these unique needs. The Prevention Services Staff are also a part of the Workgroup for Positive Youth Development (+PYD) please see their calendar below:
Prescription Collection Site now at Oak Park Township Safe prescription and drug disposal box
Oak Park Township Prevention Services in the Youth and Family Services Department is pleased to announce its partnership with the Cook County Sheriff’s office to have a prescription take back box. Drop off expired, unused, and wanted medications for safe disposal anytime in the Oak Park Township parking lot. Please remember that sharps and liquids CAN NOT be collected.
The prescription take back box is located at 105 S. Oak Park Avenue, in the back left corner of the parking lot, next to the blue bench.
Community Justice Program
The Community Justice Program works closely with the Villages' of Oak Park and River Forest's local adjudication divisions. We provide Community Engagement program which works with youth to complete engagement hours at local organizations and businesses. We also provide specialized programming to youth and families around issues that may have lead youth to be referred to the adjudication process. We can provide restorative circles, peer mediations, and will offer group classes to youth and families as well.
Youth and Family Services Hygiene Closet Open for Donations and Distribution
DONATIONS NEEDED! Youth and Family Services of Oak Park and River Forest Township is excited to announce a new Youth Initiative! The Youth and Family Services Team has opened a Hygiene Closet where youth can come and get basic personal care and hygiene supplies for FREE! We are currently seeking donations of products; please click here for more details and a list of items that are being accepted. Please drop all items off at the Oak Park Township Office at 105 S. Oak Park Avenue weekdays between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. Questions about donations or picking up items? Please call Youth and Family Services at 708-445-2727 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
All products must be new, sealed or unopened. We will accept travel or regular sizes.
We offer Financial Assistance Scholarships (FAS) for youth, to assist them in participating in activities and/or programs they are financially unable to access. Funds can be used for costs relating directly to registration and participant fees only.
The following link has the Application, Guidelines and Income Verification forms for Fiscal Year 2024. Please see the explanation for each section below.
For financial assistance for Park District of Oak Park programs, please visit https://www.pdop.org/registration/scholarships/.
In an effort to facilitate positive experiences for the youth of Oak Park and River Forest, Oak Park and River Forest Townships contract with agencies annually, offering educational, recreational and vocational programs that engage young residents 0-18 years old. Opportunities include social emotional learning, community and civic awareness, social justice, career and future planning and offer a wide variety of learning experiences for youth. Additionally, this year we are sponsoring an Intergenerational Program grant.
Our all-volunteer Youth and Family Services Committee, consisting of Oak Park and River Forest residents, advises the Township Board with funding recommendations based on available funds. Grants will be awarded up to $15,000.
If you are interested in contracting with us, please download the contract request form and the Funding Excel Spreadsheet which are available below and submit by email to Idalit Zavala at email@example.com. All contract requests are due on or before 5:00 p.m. on Wednesday, January 17, 2024.
For more information, please contact Idalit Zavala, Youth and Family Services Administrative Assistant at 708-445-2727.