The mission of the Statewide Youth Advisory Board (SYAB) is to partner with the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services and contracted agencies to provide advocacy by advising the DCFS director and educating youth in care. SYAB provides information about resources, opportunities, policies and programs that effect all youth. The SYAB is committed to youth empowerment, development, leadership and achievement across the state of Illinois.
There are four Regional Youth Advisory Boards throughout Illinois covering the Cook, northern, central and southern regions. RYAB meetings are held monthly and are convened by regional youth board leaders. Youth between the ages of 14-21 are encouraged to attend. All members and guests participate in educational workshops each month surrounding youth leadership development with support from adult partners. These workshops are designed to prepare youth to become advocates for transformative change and give them tools they will carry into adulthood.
Meetings also provide a private forum for young people in care to address concerns, receive free and valuable resources, hear about changes within the department and gain access to opportunities to learn more about policies and procedures that are relevant to them.
The Youth Advisory Board provides a wide range of opportunities for young people, including: RYAB officer positions, internships, Youth Advisory Affinity Group (YAAG) ambassadorship and more!
Regional participation and the opportunities mentioned above are all incentivized. YAB membership looks great on resumes, job applications and college/scholarship applications. Above all, youth have an opportunity to use their journey to make a positive impact on the lives of other youth in care!
The Cook County Regional Youth Advisory Board meetings are held every third Thursday of the month from 6-8 p.m. at 1911 S. Indiana, Chicago, IL.
The Northern Regional Youth Advisory Board meetings are held every third Tuesday of the month from 6-8 p.m. at 8 E. Galena Blvd., Aurora, IL.
To RSVP for Cook or Northern regions, or for more information, please contact:
The Southern Regional Youth Advisory Board meetings are held every second Tuesday of the month from 6-8 p.m. Location is TBD.
The Central Regional Youth Advisory Board meetings are held every second Wednesday of the month from 6-8 p.m. Location is TBD.
To RSVP for Central or Southern regions, or for more information, please contact:
Please note: The Youth Advisory Board will continue to offer youth with geographic transportation barriers the ability to participate in meetings online. For more information about online meetings please contact one of the YAB staff listed above.