Youth Services Mission
Oak Park Township Youth Services supports programs and services that address youth through the implementation of prevention techniques, crisis intervention, restorative justice, therapeutic involvement, case management and coordination of wraparound services with other community partners and agencies. Youth Services also advocates for programs and services which enhance the social/emotional development of youth and their families. Youth 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 here to fill out a referral form.
Youth Engagement Program Announced; Effective July 1st, 2022
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.”
Please click here to read the entire announcement.
Youth Services Hygiene Closet Open for Donations and Distribution
DONATIONS NEEDED! Youth Services of Oak Park and River Forest Township is excited to announce a new Youth Initiative! The Youth 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 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 2023. 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/.
For further questions and additional assistance, please contact the Youth Services Department by using the "Contact Us" form or call (708) 445-2727. NOTE: During the COVID-19 Health Emergency, please call 708-445-2727 to reach a member of the Youth Services team.
In an effort to facilitate positive experiences for the youth of Oak Park and River Forest, Oak Park and River Forest Townships contract with more than 20 agencies annually, offering more than 50 educational and recreational programs that engage young residents. Opportunities include after-school homework help, to peer support for substance abuse, and job readiness skill-building, and offer a wide variety of learning experiences for children of all ages.
Our all-volunteer Youth Services Committee, consisting of Oak Park and River Forest residents, advises the Township Boards with funding recommendations based on available funds and addressing the unique needs of youth in the middle adolescence as they approach transition periods that may derail their progress and ultimate success.
Fiscal Year 2023 Contracts
Contract applications for Fiscal Year 2023 (April 1st, 2022 - March 31st, 2023) have been processed and awarded. Results are posted below. For more information or assistance, please call Youth Services at 708-445-2727.
FY 2023 Contract Request Form
FY 2023 Funding Request Calculator
FY 2023 Funding Request Details