The Illinois Collaboration on Youth (ICOY) Represents a History of Proactive Advocacy
Our history represents an important commitment to efficient, supportive progress. From the beginning, we have proactively partnered to establish a state-run effort supporting organizations that promote child and family welfare – a function is previously undertaken by faith-based charitable organizations that were only loosely affiliated and organized. ICOY has long been a key player at both the state and grassroots levels. Over the years, we have evolved, with the changing human service landscape, by proactively joining forces with new organizations to shape policy and practices in a more systematic and holistic way. However, the heart of our mission has remained the same – promoting the safety, health, and success of Illinois’ children, youth and families by supporting and building capacity in the systems and organizations that serve them.
The Child Care Association of Illinois (CCAI) incorporated as an important advocate for passage and implementation of the Child Care Act of 1957 and the Civil Rights Act of 1964. CCAI continued to serve as a leading authority on child welfare issues, working with both the Illinois General Assembly and state agencies to assure that children live in stable, permanent families.
Youth Network Council (YNC) organized to support local, community-based youth service agencies and to enhance their capacity to serve young people and their families with the goals of keeping them safe, reducing their involvement with the child welfare and juvenile justice systems and guiding them along the path to a positive adulthood.
The Illinois Collaboration on Youth (ICOY) was founded to serve as a statewide association and advocacy network – focused on building capacity of the statewide system of programs and services that support at-risk youth, and to advocate for legislation, policies, and practices that keep children, youth and their families safe and healthy.
The merger of ICOY and the Youth Network Council positioned ICOY at the crossroads of policy and practice – enabling ICOY to better support and advocate for Illinois youth and families and the community-based providers that serve them.
ICOY merged with the Child Care Association of Illinois (CCAI) to become a brand-new membership association and capacity-building organization.