Teen REACH (Responsibility, Education, Achievement, Caring and Hope)

Bureau of Youth Services & Delinquency Prevention
Division of Community Health & Prevention
Illinois Department of Human Services

Program Description


Teen REACH (Responsibility, Education, Achievement, Caring and Hope) provides services to high-risk youth between the ages of 6 and 17.


The purpose of the program is to expand the range of choices and opportunities that enable, empower and encourage youth to achieve positive growth and development, improve expectations and capabilities for future success; and avoid and/or reduce risk-taking behavior.


Teen REACH programs provide the following prevention-focused core services during out-of-school time hours. The core services include:

  • Improving educational performance, which encompasses time to do homework, tutoring in basic skills and enrichment programs that encourage creativity.
  • Life skills education to provide youth with alternatives to a range of risky behaviors.
  • Parental involvement so that parents and guardians have opportunities to meet with staff to discuss their children's activities and to participate in events that strengthen parent/child bonds and community involvement.
  • Recreation, sports, and cultural and artistic activities.
  • Adult mentors who allow opportunities for participants to develop and maintain positive, sustained relationships with adults.
  • Service learning to help youth build academic skills while strengthening communities through service.

Delivery Method

Teen REACH services are delivered by 106 community-based agencies throughout Illinois.

Program Expenditure (Numbers in 000's) $16,997.7 $16,985.0 $15,707.5 $15,064.3
Number of Grantees 126 90 90 106
Number Served 29,537 27,543 25,994 21,284

Note:: In SFY07, Teen Reach funding ended for 36 providers. In FY10 a new round of Teen REACH programs were funded through a competitive RFP process.

 Program Effectiveness

  • Teen REACH has been nationally recognized as part of the prestigious Harvard Family Research project for several years.
  • Teen REACH is collaborating with the ISA Gear Up program to allow participants to earn scholarship funding toward a college education.
  • 85% of all youth enrolled in Teen REACH are 11 to 17 years of age.
  • Performance measures are reviewed quarterly and technical assistance is provided as necessary.
  • Program standards have been developed and implemented.