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.
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.
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 Announces New Intiatives
The Youth Services Department began several initiatives in summer 2019. They will expand services to include youth groups, a school supply drive, and working more closely with community partners and the Youth Services Committee. Please see the entire press release here.
The T.I.M.E. program (Teen Initiative for Meeting Expectations) is a court diversion program for youth who have committed an offense in the Oak Park / River Forest area. Youth are referred by the two local Police Departments and the Office of Adjudication at the Village of Oak Park and are given community service hours to serve. The hours are served in the Oak Park /River Forest communities at local non-profits or government agencies. Should the youth need other services, referrals for the Face-It program or assessments at Thrive Counseling Center may be part of the referral process. The program is supported by and housed at Oak Park Township Youth Services.
T.I.M.E. Program Manager
(708) 445-2727, Ext. 127
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 2020. Please see the explanation for each section below.
For financial assistance for Park District of Oak Park programs: You must meet directly with the Park District to complete the registration. Call Trina Hartzog at (708) 725-2303 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org to set up a time. Be prepared with financial statements that indicate your household income level.
For OPRFHS Summer School/Work Study program: contact Linda Hayes at (708) 434-3692.
For OPRFHS Summer Sports Camps: contact Courtney Sakellaris at (708) 434-3500. All financial assistance scholarship requests for Summer Sports Camps in 2019 have been completed. Please check back for requests for summer 2020.
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 2020 Contracts
A list of the programs funded for Fiscal Year 2020 (April 1st, 2019 - March 31st, 2020) are available in the PDF document below.
For listings of past contractors and amounts funded, see Annual Reports.