Chicago's struggling Englewood and West Englewood neighborhoods have been home to the Chicago Youth Advocate Program for many years. Gang activity, violence, poverty and traumatic stress are among the many challenges facing the area's youth.
Last February, Minette Bauer, YAP Deputy CEO, and the YAP team began work with the Children's Home + Aid (CH+A) to develop an innovative new program combining the services of both agencies. Their letter of inquiry to the Chicago Design Competition was one of 200 submitted and one of only 7 selected for follow-up with a full proposal. The resulting $1 million Design Competition award is shared by the 2 agencies.
Program services include CH+A's Structured Psychotherapy for Adolescents Responding to Chronic Stress (SPARCS), designed for adolescents who have been traumatized, often repeatedly and who continue to live with high levels of stress. YAP will recruit high-risk youth and provide a wide range of wraparound advocacy services. The program also includes a rigorous evaluation component with University of Chicago Crime Lab researchers.
"We are excited about this partnership with Youth Advocate Programs and the Crime Lab, and about the opportunity to work on reducing gang activity and violence in the lives of Chicago's highest risk youth." - Nancy Ronquillo, president and CEO of Children's Home+Aid
Generous support from The Get IN Chicago, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation and the Pritzker Pucker Family Foundation make the winning program and two new smaller programs possible.