Illinois Department of Human Services
Division of Family & Community Services

Program Description


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

Eligibility Criteria

Teens 6-17 in targeted low-income communities.


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 104 community-based agencies throughout Illinois.

Program Data

Program Data SFY09 SFY10 SFY11
Program Expenditure (Numbers in 000's) $15,707.5 $15,064.3 $13,881.2
Number of Grantees 90 106 104
Number of Youth Served 25,994 21,284 22,406

Program Accomplishments

  • 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 are in place.