The mission of Youth Services Network is to develop, provide and coordinate services that improve the physical, developmental, psychological and social well-being of children, young adults, and families.
Since 1982 Youth Services Network, Inc. (YSN) has provided services to youth in Winnebago and Boone Counties. YSN staff serve youth ages 0-21 and their families by providing trauma-informed, holistic, community- based services. YSN is a Child Welfare Agency licensed by the State of Illinois.
The population served by YSN staff have a variety of concerns:
Emotional or mental health concerns
Pregnant or parenting
Runaway or homeless
Victims of sexual abuse, physical abuse or domestic violence
Truancy or school concerns
Developmental delays and/or disabilities
Our Core Values
We promote and respect individual choice.
We abide by a strong code of integrity that directs our work.
We operate with a sense of passion and caring.
We believe in the strengths of families and make a commitment to support all families in their efforts
to improve their lives.
Youth Trauma Clinic (YTC):
The Youth Trauma Clinic (YTC) is a walk-in clinic that provides counseling and case management to youth, ages 0-21, that have encountered trauma which can include child abuse, neglect, death of a loved one, bullying, pandemic effects and experiencing or witnessing violence in the home, school or neighborhood. One of our goals is to eliminate the wait times many service providers in the area have, therefore our aim is to start supports within 24 hours of first contact. All of the services will be free of charge. YTC has 3 therapists who will work with the youth to reduce traumatic stress symptoms and minimize any physical, social and emotional concerns. We also have 2 case managers who will offer extra support to youth needing help with school attendance, school work, finding resources such as clothing, housing, transportation, and other community resources. This program is funded by the communitys one-half cent sales tax through the Winnebago County Community Mental Health Board.
The Bridge Shelter
The Bridge is a shelter for young men 14-20 years of age who are homeless or experiencing a crisis. The shelter is staffed twenty-four hours per day and residents are able to live in the shelter for up to 120 days. The Bridge staff provides case management services including life skills to promote self-sufficiency (such as helping clients learn how to cook, budget and save money, etc.) employment and vocational assistance, educational advocacy, linkages to other community agencies, and more. Shelter staff will also assist clients with family reunification or finding permanent housing. The main goal is to transition youth and their families into stable housing.
MELD is a homeless shelter for youth who are homeless, pregnant and/or parenting, or youth who are experiencing a crisis. Residents are able to live in the shelter for up to 120 days. Residents are paired with a case manager and participate in developing an individualized service plan aimed at achieving goals to promote self-sufficiency. Services include assessment and intake, ongoing intensive case management, weekly support groups, parenting/child development education, transportation, meal planning and nutrition, educational referrals, employment and vocational assistance, placement and referral for future permanent housing.
MELD Transitional Living Program:
Youth with no previous experience at living on their own may reside in the Phase II transitional program, located on the third floor of our shelter. This location allows the resident to live in a secure building that is staffed 24/7, but allows them enough space to grow their independence. This program is designed for a stay of 18-24 months. Residents are responsible for maintaining their apartment and for paying rent which is based on their income. Case managers assist youth in assessing their needs and developing their goals; specifically, in the areas of parenting, budgeting and education/vocational pursuits.
Youth who are more independent may be appropriate for MELD Manor transitional living program. This program is designed for a stay of 18-24 months. The program offers intensive case management for youth ages 18-24 who are working and/or going to school. Youth are responsible for maintaining their own apartment and for paying rent which is based on their income.
MELD offers educational groups in the homeless shelter, transitional living programs and also in local high schools.