Counseling and Case Management Programs

Guiding Individuals and Families Therapeutically (GIFT)

The GIFT counseling programs serves youth and adults who are involved with the child welfare system.  Counseling services are provided to youth who have been sexually and/or physically abused or who are victims of domestic violence. Counseling services are also provided to the non-offending parents. Services offered include individual, couples 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. Therapists utilize Play-therapy, Sand-tray therapy and other Trauma Focused treatment modalities.

Accepted Insurance:

  • Aetna
  • Blue Cross Blue Shield
  • Meridian
  • Molina
  • YouthCare

Intensive Placement Stabilization (IPS)

IPS is a short-term (6-month) placement stabilization program for high-risk children in foster care. The purpose of the IPS program is to maintain and stabilize the well-being, safety, and permanency of youth in foster care. The services are strength-based, family-focused, child-centered, community-based, and attentive to cultural diversity. IPS services include:

Therapeutic Stabilization:
*Individual and family counseling
*Behavior management skills
*Caregiver Support

*Coordination of Child and Family Teams
*Development of goals
*Transition to community resources

Case Management:
*Life Skills training
*Educational and recreational activities

Youth Services Network provides IPS services for Boone, McHenry, and Winnebago County.

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 Parenthood Promise Program provides services and resources to the families who reside in the Ellis Heights Neighborhood. Parenthood Promise assists parents and children in setting and achieving goals that will help them create a healthy life path. Parenthood Promise provides resources for education, employment, health, and housing. Our goal is for children to graduate from high school. Parenthood Promise helps the parents succeed in life by accomplishing their goals and providing a positive image for their children to grow and succeed in life. 

Youth Trauma Clinic (YTC)

The Youth Trauma Clinic (YTC) is a walk-in clinic that provides counseling and case management to youth, ages 0-21, that have encountered trauma which can include child abuse, neglect, death of a loved one, bullying, pandemic effects and experiencing or witnessing violence in the home, school or neighborhood.  One of our goals is to eliminate the wait times many service providers in the area have, therefore our aim is to start supports within 24 hours of first contact.  All of the services will be free of charge.  YTC has 3 therapists who will work with the youth to reduce traumatic stress symptoms and minimize any physical, social and emotional concerns.  We also have 2 case managers who will offer extra support to youth needing help with school attendance, school work, finding resources such as clothing, housing, transportation, and other community resources. This program is funded by the community’s one-half cent sales tax through the Winnebago County Community Mental Health Board.

YSN at the Family Peace Center

The Family Peace Center is a multi-agency, multi-disciplinary service that provides services to victims of inter-personal violence.  YSN provides individual and family counseling utilizing Hip-Hop Spoken Word therapy, Sand-Tray Therapy and Play-Therapy.  YSN also provides case management services to individuals and families linking them to providers through the Family Peace Center or agencies in the community, based on assessed needs.

Early Intervention Services

Child & Family Connections #1 (CFC)

Child and Family Connections #1 (CFC) is the regional intake entity for children and families to access the Illinois Early Intervention (EI) System in Boone, Ogle, Winnebago, Bureau, Marshall and Putnam counties.  CFC serves children birth to the age of 3 with developmental delays and/or disabilities.  Referrals can be made by a parent, primary referral source, or others who have concerns in a child’s development.  The CFC is responsible for ensuring that all referrals to the EI Services System receive a timely response in a professional and family-centered manner. Once the referral is received, the child will be assigned to a Service Coordinator who will assist the family with the intake process in addition to initiating referrals for evaluations/assessments to determine eligibility into the EI System.  Children (birth through 36 months) are eligible for services through the EI System if they:  1) have a condition known to cause disability or delay, or 2) show a delay of 30% or greater in at least one area of development (Communication, Motor, Cognition, Adaptive, Social or Emotional skills), or 3) are at high risk for development delay(s).  Once a child is determined eligible, the child’s team (including the family) will develop the Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP) to focus on the family’s concerns and priorities for their child.  Upon implementation of the IFSP, the child will be linked to the needed EI services (i.e. physical therapy, speech therapy, nutrition, audiology, counseling, etc.). There are 16 services available, and services are provided based on a child’s needs.  As children get closer to their third birthday, the IFSP team will participate in transition activities to ensure a smooth and seamless transition into 3 year old services. 

Additional Resources:

   To make a referral call 815-986-1947 or fax 815-986-1954

Social Emotional Therapist at Head Start

Youth Services Network has collaborated with the City of Rockford Human Services Department to provide trauma therapy and support to children (6 weeks to 5 years old) and their families enrolled in the Early Head Start and Head Start Program.  Services include on-site trauma therapy, classroom observations, trauma assessments, linkage to community resources, groups, and educational training on trauma.

Homeless Services

Youth Services Network homeless programs provide a welcoming, safe place to live for youth who are unsheltered and experiencing a crisis. Our multidisciplinary team works with youth to build on their strengths and increase their resilience so they can overcome life’s challenges.

The Bridge Shelter

The Bridge is a shelter for young men 14-20 years of age who are homeless or experiencing a crisis. The shelter is staffed twenty-four hours per day and residents are able to live in the shelter for up to 120 days. The Bridge staff provides case management services including life skills to promote self-sufficiency (such as helping clients learn how to cook, budget and save money, etc.) employment and vocational assistance, educational advocacy, linkages to other community agencies, and more. Shelter staff will also assist clients with family reunification or finding permanent housing. The main goal is to transition youth and their families into stable housing.

MELD Shelter

MELD is a homeless shelter for youth who are homeless, pregnant and/or parenting, or youth who are experiencing a crisis. Residents are able to live in the shelter for up to 120 days. Residents are paired with a case manager and participate in developing an individualized service plan aimed at achieving goals to promote self-sufficiency. Services include assessment and intake, ongoing intensive case management, weekly support groups, parenting/child development education, transportation, meal planning and nutrition, educational referrals, employment and vocational assistance, placement and referral for future permanent housing.

MELD Transitional Living Program

Youth with no previous experience at living on their own may reside in the Phase II transitional program, located on the third floor of our shelter. This location allows the resident to live in a secure building that is staffed 24/7, but allows them enough space to grow their independence. This program is designed for a stay of 18-24 months. Residents are responsible for maintaining their apartment and for paying rent which is based on their income. Case managers assist youth in assessing their needs and developing their goals; specifically, in the areas of parenting, budgeting and education/vocational pursuits.

Youth who are more independent may be appropriate for MELD Manor transitional living program. This program is designed for a stay of 18-24 months. The program offers intensive case management for youth ages 18-24 who are working and/or going to school. Youth are responsible for maintaining their own apartment and for paying rent which is based on their income.

MELD offers educational groups in the homeless shelter, transitional living programs and also in local high schools.

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.

Responsible Parenting High School Groups

Weekly parenting groups for pregnant and parenting high school teen moms using Nurturing Parenting Curriculum to provide parenting and life skills education, encouragement and support. The groups run during the school year at local public high schools (Roosevelt, Auburn, Jefferson, Guilford, and East) for one class period a week.

Love Notes (Teen Pregnancy Prevention) Group

Love Notes (Teen Pregnancy Prevention) Group

A 13 session group using the Love Notes Curriculum to develop relationship skills for Love, Life and Work. This group meets on a weekly basis and is a research project coordinated by the Winnebago County Health Department.

Juvenile Justice and Crisis Intervention Services

Comprehensive Community-Based Youth Services (CCBYS)

Crisis Youth – Mandatory Population

24/7 Crisis Hotline: 815-986-1953

CCBYS provides 24-hour crisis intervention services to youth 11 to 17 years old who are locked out, have runaway from home, or who are beyond the control of their parent/guardian in circumstances that pose an immediate or substantial danger to the youths physical safety. Crisis workers will respond to local police departments, court services, hospitals, educational institutions, shelters, and similar locations to address the crisis. Services include crisis intervention, family reunification support, follow-up care which includes case management, counseling, educational advocacy, and more. Department of Child and Family Services (DCFS) Youth in Care are not eligible. DCFS shall be contacted if abuse or neglect is suspected.

Non-Crisis Youth – Discretionary Population

CCBYS provides services to youth 11 to 17 years old, and 10-year-olds at agency discretion, who are at-risk of crisis or at-risk of delinquency. Services include case management, counseling, educational advocacy, family support, linkage to community resources, treatment planning, and more as deemed necessary. Referrals may be made by law enforcement, fire and EMS personnel, educators, court services, parent/guardians, etc. Department of Child and Family Services (DCFS) Youth in Care are not eligible.

Youth that are not in immediate crisis, but interested in services, can call Youth Services Network, Inc. at 815-986-1947.

Daily Reporting Center (DRC)

Youth Services Network partnered with the Illinois Department of Juvenile Justice to create and facilitate the Daily Reporting Center for Boys and Girls. This program is designed to develop a comprehensive approach as the youth returns home from the Illinois Department of Juvenile Justice. Youth are referred by the Illinois Department of Juvenile Justice and mandated to participate through their parole agreement and release conditions. Youth referred to the program have been given a Mental Health Assessment, a Trauma Assessment, and provided a Youth Services Network Case Manager to assist in obtaining a Substance Abuse Assessment as well. Wraparound staffing is held to identify the youth’s needs, strengthens, and areas of improvement. Youth participating in the program receive individual and group counseling, tutoring, recreation, life skill training, job skill training, educational advocacy, and other services such as capturing their identification, ie. Birth Certificates, State Identification, and Social Security Cards. Program participants are in the program for 90 days, and a graduation is held at the completion to celebrate their accomplishments. The goal is to help the youth develop life skills that lead to better decision-making and linkage to resources/services and reducing the chance of committing other crimes. These new training skills are paramount to helping youth become positive, productive members of society.

Project Safe Place

YSN is proud of its partnership with the City of Rockford Fire Department and the City of Belvidere Fire Department in the implementation of Project Safe Place. The fire departments act as “safe places for runaways and victims of domestic violence.” YSN is contacted for services 24-hours per day for the youth who ask for assistance at the fire stations.

Redeploy Illinois (Male and Female)

Redeploy Illinois is a program for youth 13-17 years old involved with the Winnebago County Juvenile Probation Department that are classified as Moderate to High Risk to reoffend based on the Juvenile Risk Assessment (JRA). The goal of Redeploy is to decrease juvenile incarceration through the use of evidence-based community programs that maintain public safety and promote positive outcomes for youth. Referrals to this program are made through the Juvenile Probation Department and court-ordered by the Juvenile Court Judge. Youth Services Network conducts a Mental Health Assessment (MHA) with the youth and parent/guardian to determine appropriateness. A wraparound staffing is then conducted with the Redeploy team including available case managers, probation officers, counselors, parent-engagement specialists, parent(s)/guardian(s), and the youth.

Each youth is assigned a case manager who works with the client to complete additional assessments and develop a case plan. Case management services are provided including, but not limited to, individual and group counseling, recreation, life skills training, job skill training, educational advocacy, and other services deemed necessary by the youth, parent/guardian, and Redeploy team. The male program utilizes the Washington State Aggression Interruption Training (WAIT) curriculum, while the female program utilizes the Juvenile Moral Reconation Therapy (MRT) curriculum.

Program length varies by the participant but is anticipated to be 12-15 months. The intensive programming portion is 6-9 months, followed by 6 months of After Care. Upon completion of the program, youth participate in a graduation ceremony and are referred to other community organizations and pro-social programs to promote further youth development.


Step-Up is a youth and family program focused on addressing youth violence and building respectful family relationships. The program is utilized as an early intervention for youth involved in select minor crimes as an alternative to entering the juvenile justice system. Step-Up is supported by the Juvenile Enhanced Response Team (JVERT), including the City of Rockford, Amanda Reed Memorial Foundation, and Winnebago County Juvenile Probation. Referrals are made to the program by the Winnebago County Juvenile Probation Department.

School Based Services

Behavior Intervention Specialists (BIS)

Behavior Intervention Specialists are an integral component of the staff at 10 Rockford School District elementary schools. Each school utilizes the Connected Schools Model, which is designed to connect students and staff to essential elements that promote school success for all. The BIS work closely with school administrators and staff to decrease the need for suspension.

Young Moms’ Parenting Groups

Young Moms’ Parenting Support groups provide information, parenting education, and parenting support to moms in the Rockford High Schools. Young moms come together to discuss parenting, child development, interpersonal relationships, life skills, and other related topics. Groups meet weekly in all five high schools. The goal of the program is to prevent child abuse and neglect, secondary pregnancies, and give young families the skills and support to become self-directed, and self-sufficient members of the community.

Trauma Therapist Program

In this program a school is assigned a Trauma Therapist who is able to provide services such as individual counseling/therapy, group counseling/therapy, SEL classroom lessons, crisis response, parent outreach and support, case management, and staff education while utilizing a trauma informed and strength based approach. They provide education and explore topics such as impulse control, decision making, problem solving, conflict resolution, respect, emotion identification, emotion regulation and coping strategies, leadership skills, self-esteem, confidence, teamwork, kindness, and responsibility. They work closely with administration, school staff, and support staff to provide high quality services to the school, students, and their families.

Truancy Intervention Services

The Truancy Intervention is a research model of treatment for issues surrounding school attendance and truancy. YSN staff works together with Rockford Public School 205 staff to help improve attendance. There are five primary goals of the collaboration.

Those goals are:
• Reducing the number of truant students
• Reducing tardiness
• Increasing parent/guardian involvement in their student’s education
• Increasing high school graduation
• Increasing overall school attendance

YSN staff assess the reasons for poor attendance and work with the parents and the school staff to reduce school attendance barriers. Interventions include letters, phone calls, home visits, student conferences, parent conferences, and staff conferences. Wraparound services include referrals to community resources and referrals to court.

Youth Court

Youth Court uses a Restorative Justice model in addressing minor legal offenses committed by youth in the Rockford High Schools. When a youth commits a minor criminal offense, he/she is arrested by the School Liaison Officer and is taken to the principal. If the offense is eligible, Youth Court is suggested to the youth and the parent. Youth Court eligibility must also be approved by the States Attorney’s office. If eligible, the youth goes in front of a jury of his/her peers, who have been extensively trained in Restorative Justice, family issues, substance abuse issues, etc. A contract is developed, and the youth has 60 days to complete the contract. If the contract is successfully completed, the youth can have the offense expunged from his/her record at age 18.

Pass Through Funding

Drug Free Communities Grant

The Drug Free Communities Grant through SAMSHA (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services) was
awarded to Youth Services Network on behalf of the Boone County Drug Prevention Coalition (BCDPC) in
October of 2018. Youth Services Network serves as the Fiscal Agent to manage grant funds and ensure
all processes are carried out to meet the needs of the grantors.

The purpose of the grant is to reduce and prevent the use of alcohol, tobacco and other drugs using
evidence based programs that focus on youth between the ages of 11-18 and their families. The
Coalition provides education to Boone County on the dangers and impact that drugs have on their

The grant was approved for 5 years with the ability to continue for another 5 years to help curb the
harmful effects of drugs in Boone County.

Norman Cash Assistance

DCFS has created services, often referred to as “Norman Services,” for families who have one or more children who are at risk of being placed in DCFS care, or who have children who cannot be returned home. Reasons for these concerns may be: lack of food, lack of shelter, lack of clothing, or lack of other items that assist in maintaining children in their homes or in helping children return home.

YSN receives referrals for Norman funds and facilities the funding process to help maintain children in their homes and to help children return home.

Youth Crisis Cash Assistance

The Youth Crisis Cash Assistance Program provides services to promote permanency by maintaining, strengthening and safeguarding the functioning of families, promote family unification, facilitate youth development and ensure the safety and well-being of children.

YSN facilities the funding process to stabilize the housing of youth referred to the program.