Category - Policy & Advocacy

ICOY Policy Advisory Committee

Illinois Collaboration on Youth's (ICOY's) policy priorities are formulated by the Policy Advisory Committee (PAC).

The PAC is comprised of ICOY members who volunteer to help shape ICOY's legislative agenda. Each year, the PAC convenes a retreat to revisit and revise their Guiding Principles. These Guiding Principles help inform their policy efforts and sponsor initiatives before, during, and after each legislative session.

The PAC uses the following guiding principles to create and support policies, programs, administrative practices, and legislation that:

  • Are trauma-informed, evidence-supported, family-focused, culturally-responsive, and community-based. 
  • Support families, empower communities, and prevent involvement in the formal juvenile justice and child welfare systems. 
  • Ensure out-of-home placement in juvenile detention or foster care is used only when necessitated by safety concerns that cannot otherwise be mitigated. Out-of-home placement should occur in the least restrictive setting, for the least time possible, and close to the child’s family and community. 
  • Advance racial equity and reduce the entrenched patterns of disproportionate representation and disparate outcomes for the children, youth, and families of color involved in the juvenile justice and child welfare systems. 
  • Provide full funding for community services to enhance the well-being of children, youth, and families. 
  • Support a well-qualified, trained, and stable workforce serving children, youth and families. 
  • Safeguard the interests of marginalized children, youth and families throughout the State’s design, implementation and administration of Medicaid, and managed care arrangements for community social services. 
  • Measure providers' performance, evaluate outcomes, and apply sound continuous quality improvement practices among community youth service, juvenile justice, and child welfare systems 
  • Fulfill ICOY’s strategic imperative to take a strong stance on social justice issues that impact Illinois’ children, youth and families. 
  • Promote policies and programs that are sensitive and responsive to the traumatic impact that gun violence has on youth, families, and communities.
  • Promote policies and administrative practices that ensure that every person has broad access to healthcare that is appropriate for them and has the ability to make healthcare decisions for themselves and their families.

View our most recent legislative agenda. For more information on the PAC, contact Senior Policy Analyst Cameron Zelaya at

2024 ICOY Policy Advisory Committee Members