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Growing Minds – (Pre-K through College programs)

The Department of Children and Family Services is committed to helping children do well in school, stay in school and find the best schools available for their emerging skills. From early childhood through college-level training, the attention of caseworkers, caregivers and other staff to the educational programs of children in care is critical. DCFS strives to improve educational outcomes of children in care through a range of services, including:

  • The DCFS School Readiness Initiative, which ensures that children aged three to five are enrolled in an early learning program so they enter kindergarten ready to learn;

  • Services to re-enroll drop-outs and educational mentoring for high-risk youth;

  • Education advisors help youth in the care of DCFS receive appropriate education services through advocacy, consultation and support. All youth in preschool, elementary school, junior high, high school and college or vocational training programs are eligible to receive assistance from an education advisor.

  • The Youth in Scholarship Program, which awards college scholarships to youth who are currently in care, emancipated from care or who have found permanent loving homes through adoption or guardianship;

  • Assistance achieving economic independence while completing college education under the Youth in College (YIC)/Vocational Training Program; and

  • The Find Your Future Program, which helps college students in the care of DCFS find internships or entry-level positions that complete their college experience and launch their careers.

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