Youth Services

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.

Joint YS Township Logo

Intervention

Since its inception in 1995, the Youth Interventionist Program has been a unique program that provides comprehensive support to both youth and their families in the Oak Park and River Forest communities. Our team of well-trained, masters level Interventionists, provide hands-on experience to offer and implement customized support to our clients and their families. Our partnerships and collaborations with outside organizations ensure that our youth and their families are linked to relevant resources that are personalized to their specific needs.

 

Youth Engagement Program

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. 

The Interventionists  gain youth referrals from the schools, police department, other community partners, and families.  Anyone can refer a youth who they feel may be in need of extra support and services. Our Interventionists are also available to respond to community crises to provide outreach and counseling.  Please use this referral form.  

The Interventionists meet with the youth and their families to help identify the needed issues to address.  Meetings can take place in the Township Offices, at the schools, at an outside community partner's office, or during a home visit.  The Interventionists make sure to meet the family and youth where they are comfortable.  Once the Interventionists identify the issues, they work on a plan with the youth and family to aid and help. 

The Interventionists work with the community’s extensive network of social service agencies to identify the most appropriate services to meet the needs of the targeted youth and their entire family. They then bring together the resources required to address individual and family needs including parenting skills, conflict resolution, job training and substance abuse counseling. Finally, they continue to track the youth and their families through the community's various support systems, thereby ensuring coordination of services.

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 Moriah at mgale@oakparktownship.org. 

All products must be new, sealed or unopened. We will accept travel or regular sizes.

Scholarships

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.

FY 2023 Financial Assistance Scholarships Forms

 

PLEASE NOTE:

For financial assistance for Park District of Oak Park programs, please visit https://www.pdop.org/registration/scholarships/.

For OPRFHS Summer Sports Camps: contact Dr. Nicholas Browder via email at NBrowder@oprfhs.org or call (708) 434-3500.

For further questions and additional assistance, please contact the Youth Services Department by using the "Contact Us" form or call (708) 445-2727NOTE:  During the COVID-19 Health Emergency, please call 708-445-2727 to reach a member of the Youth Services team.

Contractors

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.

Oak Park Township

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

A list of the programs funded for Fiscal Year 2023 (April 1st, 2022 - March 31st, 2023) is available in the PDF document below.

Contract List FY 2023

For more information, please use the "Contact Us" form, or call Youth Services at 708-445-2727.

Reports

2022

2021

2020