Identify the need

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Description of YSN solution

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Counseling and Case Management Programs

Extended Family Support

The Extended Family Support Program provides short term services to relative caregivers that are not involved in the formal child welfare system. The goals of EFS are to:

  • Assist relative caregivers in obtaining private guardianship of the child
  • Assist relative caregivers in obtaining the child-only grant and/or other services
  • Assist school aged children in enrolling in the relative caregiver’s school system
  • Assist in obtaining basic goods and services needed to maintain a stable home for the child
  • Link relative caregivers to community resources to meet other needs

Family Drug Court

In collaboration with the 17th Judicial Court, DCFS, Rosecrance, and Tasc, Family Drug Court is designed to help children be reunited with their parents who are working on recovery. YSN provides the mental health assessment and services to the parents.

Guiding Individuals and Families Therapeutically (GIFT)

The GIFT counseling program serves youth who have been sexually and/or physically abused or are victims of domestic violence. Services offered include individual and family counseling for children and non-offending parents. Parent coaching, therapeutic visitation and individualized parent education sessions are also offered. All services are trauma-informed and community-based. Medicaid and some MCO providers are accepted. DCFS and Private agency referrals are accepted.

Intensive Placement Stabilization (IPS)

IPS provides psychotherapy, intensive case management and wraparound services to foster children and foster families in order to maintain and to strengthen family units. The goals of IPS are:

  • Ensure the safety, permanency and well-being of children
  • Stabilize foster care placements
  • Facilitate youth development
  • Referrals are made by DCFS and POS agency staff
  • YSN provides IPS services in Winnebago, Boone, and McHenry Counties

Life Skills

The Life Skills program, which is based on the evidence based Casey Life Skills Assessment, provides age appropriate life skill activities to youth in DCFS care. YSN provides individualized or group training to achieve the highest priority learning goals that promote self-sufficiency. YSN utilizes “learning by doing” training methods. The primary goal is to help youth develop the tools needed to better transition to independent living and to prepare for post-secondary education or vocational training.

Parenthood Promise (PHP)

The goal of Parenthood Promise is to provide a holistic, strength-based support to Ellis Elementary families by working with parents to ensure children graduate from high school. Monthly Child and Family Team meetings and weekly case management for the parents allows for individual and family goal planning. Tutoring and mentoring are provided to the children. There are Parent Empowerment workshops and cultural enrichment activities for the entire family. A Parent Advisory Board helps determine the activities for PHP families. Parenthood Promise is modeled after Geoffrey Canada’s Harlem Children’s Zone.

Homeless Services

The Bridge and MELD at YSN Homeless Shelters

Youth Services Network operates two emergency youth shelters. One shelter for young men (The Bridge) and one shelter for young women (MELD), including young women with children. Both shelters are licensed by the Department of Children and Family Services to house residents between the ages of 14 – 21. The Bridge is licensed for 6 youth, and the MELD shelter is licensed for 16 youth. Both shelters are staffed twenty-four hours per day. While at the shelter, the needs of each young person/family are assessed and appropriate linkages to other community agencies, schools, etc. are made. Community staffings are held with all agencies involved with the person/family and a service plan is agreed upon and implemented. The main goal of both shelters is to transition the youth and their families into stable housing.

MELD at YSN Transitional Living Program

Youth Services Network has a total of 16 apartments for young women and their families ages 17-24. Young families interested in the Transitional Living Program are referred to the program through the City of Rockford’s Single Point of Entry (SPOE) system. Parents live with their children in apartments and are responsible for paying their own rent, based on their income, and maintaining their living residence. Families with no previous experience at living on their own reside in the Phase II level, located on the third floor of the MELD at YSN shelter. Those with some independent living experience, enter the program at the Phase III level, living in YSN apartments located in the community. The goal of the Transitional lIving Program is to develop the appropriate independent living skills necessary to be self-sufficient in permanent housing.

Permanent Housing Programs

Youth Services Network provides permanent housing for homeless young men and homeless young families between the ages of 18-24. There are currently 6 permanent housing units for young men and 12 permanent housing units for young families. Services provided include assessment and case management, short and long-term rental subsidies, and linkage and referral to other community agencies, as needed. The primary focus of this program is housing stabilization.

Outreach and Community Case Management

Youth Services Network partners with the City of Rockford’s Single Point of entry (SPOE) system to provide outreach and intensive case management support to youth who are currently homeless, at risk of homelessness, or formerly homeless. Youth, in the community, who are not residing in one of the above listed programs are eligible to receive services to help obtain and maintain stable housing. This program has been developed with the Rock River Homeless Coalition, with an emphasis on ending youth homelessness in Winnebago/Boone counties.