Teen REACH (Responsibility, Education, Achievement, Caring and Hope)
Bureau of Youth Services & Delinquency Prevention
Division of Community Health & Prevention
Illinois Department of Human Services
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.
- 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.
Teen REACH services are delivered by community-based agencies throughout Illinois.
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- Teen REACH provides a caring environment where youth can connect with adults, and give them a powerful opportunity to guide their attitudes toward school and eventual school success.
- Teen REACH has been part of the prestigious Harvard Family Research project for several years.
- Annual reports have increasingly shown positive results on such factors as academics, family involvement in education, leadership skills and adult connections.
- Teen REACH is a highly visible program and seems to get a lot of attention from legislators.
- Teen REACH is collaborating with the Gear Up program.
- Performance measures have been established for the Teen REACH program.