The purpose of the Bureau County Youth Development Coalition is to bring together interested and concerned individuals, groups, and agencies, to help develop and implement a plan to address issues that affect our county's youth. Our goal is to assist families, and to assist youth in becoming involved and caring members of our community.
- Sharing & integration
- Creating model processes and products for other communities to use
- A comprehensive approach
- And will be prepared to act upon opportunities
Bureau County Youth Development Coalition developed as a result of University of Illinois Extension - Bureau County's needs assessment process to determine the issues for youth in Bureau County. Hundreds of youth and adults were involved in this comprehensive needs assessment conducted from October 2000 - March 2001. Youth were included in all aspects of the needs assessment, including surveys, youth and adult focus groups, and key informant interviews. The coalition was an outcome of University of Illinois Extension's ongoing work in addressing youth issues.
The coalition brings everyone together and builds on strengths and combines resources of those involved. Members of the coalition identify gaps and work together to fill the gaps by developing a plan, and accessing new resources creating opportunities regarding youth issues.
University of Illinois Extension - Bureau County is convening the coalition meetings and Extension brought a resource-the Children, Youth, and Families At- Risk (CYFAR) program opportunity to help address issues. This is a 6 -year grant. The first 2 years are for the assessment and planning phase--deciding how to address the issues. The next 4 years are for program start-up and initial implementation and for locating additional resources for funding at the end of the 6 years to continue the services developed and put into place through the coalition's work.
The coalition has selected four main issues for a focus over the next six years. After-school programs, prevention/alternate youth activities, development of a youth center guided by youth/adults with activities geared for multiple age groups, and creating a network of support for parenting issues - resource and referral system/guide development (National Initiatives for Child Care).
The issues selected for the Children, Youth and Families at Risk (CYFAR) grant will serve as model programs in that steps will be documented for future implementation by other communities, in Bureau County or elsewhere.
The coalition has a county-wide focus, considering ALL towns and rural areas in the county in its efforts. There are over 100 members of the coalition to date, representing the faith community, professionals from agencies, educators, school administrators, interested community members, and youth. Anyone who is interested in the coalition's efforts is encouraged to attend the monthly meeting at the University of Illinois - Bureau County office located at 850 Thompson Street, Princeton, IL in the Becker Professional Suites Building. The phone number is 815-875-2878. Please call to be placed on the mailing list or for more information. There is no cost to become involved.