Sections I, II, and III

Sections: I. Purpose, II. Mission Statement, III. Program Services and Outcomes, IV. Eligibility Requirements, V. Organizational Capacity, VI. Staff Qualification Standards, VII. Community Involvement Standards, VIII. Monitoring and Evaluation Standards, IX. Program Service Standards, X. Program Environment Standards

Section I Purpose

The purpose of this document is to specify the standards of practice for the Teen REACH program, funded by the Illinois Department of Human Services (Department).

Section II Mission Statement

The mission of the Teen REACH 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 capacities for future success, and avoid and/or reduce risk-taking behavior.

Section III Program Services and Outcomes

Based on emerging research, the goals of the Teen REACH program are to provide youth with safe environments and caring adult role models, and to guide them toward marketable skills and opportunities to serve their communities. In order to meet these goals, the Teen REACH program provides six prevention-focused core services. It is the expectation of the Department that every Teen REACH program will plan and implement activities that address each of the outcomes associated with the six core services. In addition, it is the expectation of the Department that every activity planned and implemented by the provider for the Teen REACH program will address at least one of the outcomes associated with a core service.

  1. Improving educational performance

    Includes time to do homework, tutoring in basic skills, and enrichment programs that encourage creativity. The following participant outcomes are associated with this core service:

    1. Maintain or improve school attendance.
    2. Maintain or improve grades or progress reporting in school.
    3. Develop or improve career aspirations and choices.
  2. Life skills education

    Encompasses training and education that promotes the development of healthy lifestyles, and encourages abstinence from risk-taking behaviors in the areas of alcohol and/or substance use, criminal activity, violence and sexual activity. The following participant outcomes are associated with this core service:

    1. Increase knowledge of harmful effects of alcohol and substance use and abuse.
    2. Increase knowledge of harmful effects of early sexual activity and pregnancy.
    3. Increase anger management and conflict resolution skills.
    4. Increase decision-making and problem-solving skills.
  3. Parental involvement

    Includes opportunities for parents and/or guardians to meet with staff to discuss their children's activities, and to participate in events that strengthen parent/child bonds and community involvement. The Teen REACH program utilizes information obtained from families and participants in decisions related to overall program design and activities. The following participant outcomes are associated with this core service:

    1. Increase in parental monitoring of academic performance.
    2. Increase in parental understanding of child and adolescent developmental stages and appropriate expectations.
    3. Increase in positive and effective parental communication with children and teens regarding alcohol, tobacco and other drug use, sexual activity, abstinence and other life skills.
    4. Increase in structured activities that promote positive family interaction.
  4. Recreation, sports, cultural and artistic activities

    Includes providing activities and arranging safe outlets for youth to try new skills and develop new interests, to build friendships, find their place in a group, and gain developmentally relevant experiences. The following participant outcomes are associated with this core service:

    1. Participants increase their level of physical activity through program offerings.
    2. Participants demonstrate sportsmanship and athletic skills.
    3. Participants engage in cultural enrichment and fine art activities.
  5. Positive adult mentors

    Programs must allow opportunities for youth to develop and maintain positive, sustained relationships with caring adults through mentoring and other programs that emphasize one-on-one interactions. The following program outcomes are associated with this core service:

    1. Increase support to participants during times of personal or social stress.
    2. Increase support for decision making.
    3. Increase access to support with academic tasks and/or homework.
    4. Increase opportunities for career awareness and mentoring.
  6. Service learning activities

    Service-learning is a method of teaching and learning that connects classroom lessons with meaningful service to the community. Students build academic skills while strengthening communities through service. Service learning combines service tasks with structured, youth-driven opportunities that link the task to self-reflection, self-discovery, and the acquisition and comprehension of values, skills and knowledge content with service tasks. The following participant outcomes are associated with this core service:

    1. Youth determine and meet real, defined community needs through program offerings.
    2. Youth learn beyond the classroom through active participation in service experiences.
    3. Youth develop and use skills and knowledge in real-life situations.
    4. Youth increase the amount of time spent to reflect by thinking, discussing and/or writing about service experiences.
    5. Youth experience a sense of belonging to a community and an awareness of their responsibility to that community.