The City of Evanston Youth and Young Adult Division was established to provide opportunities for Evanston’s youth and young adults to become active and productive citizens of the community. The division has four key areas: Education, Workforce Development/Training and Employment, Alternative Recreation (Arts & Culture) and Civic Engagement.
The division uses an evidence based comprehensive gang model approach endorsed by the U.S. Department of Justice - Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention. The division is composed of 10 staff members (7 conduct street outreach to youth ages 14 through 26).
They employ 5 strategies:
(1) Community Mobilization – Involvement of local citizens, including former gang involved youth, community groups, agencies, and coordination of programs and staff functions within and across agencies.
(2) Opportunities Provision – Development of a variety of specific education programs, training and employment programs targeting at-risk and gang involved youth and young adults.
(3) Social Intervention – Involving youth serving agencies, schools, grass roots groups, faith-based organizations, police, and other juvenile/criminal justice organizations in “reaching out” to at-risk and gang-involved youth and young adults and their families, and linking them to the conventional world and needed services.
(4) Suppression – Formal and informal social control procedures, including case management and monitoring of at-risk and gang involved youth and young adults by the juvenile criminal justice system and also by community-based agencies, schools and grassroots groups.
(5) Organizational Change and Development – Development and implementation of policies and procedures that result in the most effective use of available and potential resources, within and across agencies, to better address the development of at-risk and gang involved youth and young adults.
The division’s comprehensive youth development program model gives young people with life challenges, multiple, closely aligned pathways to success. The division promotes long-term sustained engagement for 14 to 26 years old, and positive relationships with adults. We also seek to provide young people with a vast network of support to become confident, competent, resilient, and self-sustaining adults.
Learn more in the Youth and Young Adult Strategic Plan.