Alternative Schools Network Enables Chicago-area youth in the care of DCFS who are ineligible for public school to re-enter school, obtain a high school diploma or GED and participate in mentoring and other programs, including the Fostering Learning and Added Chance Employment programs. For information, contact the Alternative Schools Network program manager at 773-728-4030.
Added Chance is an employment program that works with youth in care aged 16 through 20 to help them to achieve economic and social self-sufficiency by the time they emancipate from DCFS. Participants are referred to the program by their caseworker with an Added Chance referral form obtained by calling 773-342-4243, ext. 105.
Fostering Learning Program (FLP) facilitates development of youth in the care of DCFS through academic and social/emotional education. To achieve this mission, the Fostering Learning Program bridges the "digital divide" between the typical, advantaged high school student and youth in care (ages 10-21) by providing fully-supported, structured access to cost effective, non-threatening virtual learning systems that empowers at-risk students to achieve success (credit attainment/grade promotion/graduation) through self-paced learning tailored to the individual's need and skill level.
Youth Scholars, Skills & Service (YS3) is a collaboration between the Alternative Schools Network and DCFS to provide educational and social services to out-of-school youth in foster care between the ages of 15-21 who are interested in returning to school and earning a high school diploma or GED. The program is coordinated through 15 community-based alternative high schools. In addition to educational services, youth receive wrap around services, including: life skills, scholarship program, college preparation, leadership training and computer-assisted learning.
Asian Human Services - J.O.Y. Program
The J.O.Y. Program (Job Opportunities for Youth) provides youth with the guidance needed to seek and obtain appropriate academic and career opportunities that will enhance their educational and employment skills.
Asian Human Services - Youth Resource Center
Participants must be ages 16-21, enrolled in high school (sophomore-senior) or a GED program and meet low-income standards. Services provided include: after-school tutoring, job/internship readiness, life skills workshops, college guidance and preparation, service learning hours, career development, fun and educational field trips.
Educational Opportunity Center
Assists adults living in Chicago who are seeking to advance their educational credentials. Education Support Initiative (ESI) Participants must be in the care of DCFS, between the ages of 6 and 19 and reside in the North Lawndale, South Shore and Grand Boulevard/Bronzeville Communities. Services include after-school programming at community-based centers. Obtain an application by calling 773-268-3815.
Foster Care Alumni Groups on Campus All youth in the care of DCFS who are in college are eligible. Call 312-814-5959 or 217-557-2689 to connect with other college students who have been foster children.
Youth in grades 7 through 12 from low-income families are eligible for this federally-funded program that prepares students for success in college. Benefits include mentoring and counseling, tutoring, career-exploration programs, after-school programs, financial literacy, summer technology camps and test preparation assistance.
Please direct all program related information and questions to:Bureau of Youth Services and Delinquency Prevention
535 West Jefferson, 3rd Floor
Springfield, IL 62702-5058
These federally-funded programs support students in progressing through the academic pipeline from middle school to college and beyond. Programs are provided at middle schools, high schools, colleges and universities and agencies.
Resources for Undocumented Students