Runaway & Homeless Youth
Many unaccompanied youths across Illinois live without safe, stable housing. Because of their precarious living situation, they face significant challenges on their path to maximizing their potential.
To support these youth in their journey, Illinois Collaboration on Youth (ICOY) works in collaboration with the Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) to provide training, technical assistance, and other valuable support to family-serving organizations who implement the following IDHS programs that serve runaway and homeless youth:
Comprehensive Community-Based Youth Services (CCBYS) Program:
The CCBYS program is a 24/7 system that enables Illinois’ youth who are in crisis, experiencing family destabilization, or are at risk of entering the child welfare or juvenile justice systems to access community-based providers’ services. The program uses a two-pronged approach to divert youth from the juvenile justice and child welfare systems, as well as to reunite and stabilize families.
For youth in crisis (i.e. youth who have run away or have nowhere to go), CCBYS providers offer crisis intervention, shelter, case management, and substance use treatment services to youth and their families. For youths that are not in immediate crisis but are at risk, CCBYS programs provide wrap-around support and case management to families that qualify.
Homeless Youth Program:
The Homeless Youth program ensures that youth (ages 14 to 23) stay safe, stable, and self-sufficient when their housing situations are dangerous and unreliable. The program provides safe and stable housing, education and employment services, and the life skills necessary to become self-sufficient, ultimately reducing the number of homeless youth in Illinois.
Training is tailored to meet the needs of IDHS providers while incorporating culturally sensitive, developmentally appropriate materials and best practices. Continuing Education Units (CEUs) are available for qualifying licensed professionals who attend.