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 87 community-based agencies throughout Illinois.

Program Data

Program Expenditure (Numbers in 000's) $17,888.8 $16,478.8 $16,997.7 $16,985.3
Number of Grantees 114 126 126 87
Number Served 18,000 26,537 29,537 27,543

Note: In SFY07, Teen Reach funding ended for 36 providers.

Program Effectiveness

  • Teen REACH provided a caring environment where youth could 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 collaborating with the ISA Gear Up program.
  • Performance measures were reviewed quarterly and technical assistance was provided as necessary.
  • The current Teen REACH funding cycle has worked to increase the age of the youth participating in the program. At present, 78% of all youth enrolled in Teen REACH are 11 to 17 years of age.
  • Developed and piloted a standards assessment review in FY08 and will begin full implementation in FY09.