Summary of Youth Services

Here is some background information on the services provided by the Chicago Department of Family and Support Services Youth Services Division:

  • The Summer Youth Employment Program operates during the summer months to help provide youth ages 14-24 with career-oriented summer employment to help them develop transferable skills to increase employability through job readiness training. It also provides them with guidance, training, and supervision to help create a meaningful and quality summer job experience.
  • Through the One Summer Chicago initiative, DFSS helps coordinate summer opportunities for along with other City departments, sister agencies and Cook County government.  Many of these opportunities are summer jobs combined with additional support programs and learning opportunities.  During the Summer of 2013, One Summer Chicago provided more than 190,000 activities and 18,000 summer jobs. For more information visit
  • DFSS coordinates and manages the One Summer PLUS initiative that focuses on assisting high-risk youth who attend Chicago public high schools in high crime area. The program provided 1,000 youth in 2013 with enhanced summer jobs or summer jobs with social-emotional learning, and is part of an ongoing evaluation being conducted by the University of Chicago Crime Lab. One recent finding released by the Crime Lab is that PLUS participants in 2012 experienced a 51% decrease in incidents of violent crimes. So solid data supports our efforts to help many of Chicago’s at risk youth turn their lives around.
  • The Out of School Program provides structured, age appropriate activities for youth (6-18 years old) that develop their social and emotional skills and help build self-confidence, responsibility, awareness, and a sense of safety and belonging. Physical activities are also included to promote the well-being of participants.