(Fairview Heights, IL) Hoyleton Youth and Family Services will work with the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) as the only agency in Southern Illinois to implement the expansion of transition-age foster youth services as part of the $4.5 million grant awarded to the State of Illinois from Youth Villages. Youth Villages is a national leader in children’s mental and behavioral health through evidence- and research-based programs.
“Hoyleton has been working for years to provide life skills education to foster youth who age out of care and are ready to live independently,” said Chris L. Cox, President and CEO of Hoyleton. “We are grateful to partner with DCFS to implement the expansion of services throughout the southern region of the state.
In addition to working with Hoyleton in Southern Illinois, DCFS will work with two private agencies in Cook County, UCAN and Lawrence Hall. Each agency will implement Youth Villages’ nationally recognized program, YV LifeSet, to help youth transitioning to adulthood develop greater resilience and capabilities for success. The grant is for a three-year period.
While many youth in foster care are capable and resilient as they enter adulthood, statistics show that without help, they are more likely than their peers to be homeless, unemployed or incarcerated. They are more likely to have significant mental and/or behavioral health issues than other young adults. Many will face challenges with relationships, family planning and achieving stability.
The grant to the Illinois DCFS will help these young people make better plans and decisions for their future. The grant is the largest of four grants totaling $10 million being awarded to four of the nation’s child welfare agencies.
Since 1895, Hoyleton Youth and Family Services has grown to be one of Southern Illinois’ leaders in a wide array of services including residential, foster and adoptive services, community education, counseling, and services for emerging adults. Hoyleton is just one of 50 agencies nationally and the only Southern Illinois agency implementing Cornell University’s Residential Child Care Project (CARE), a new research-based best practices model.