1/8/2019 - Donate to YSB through Amazon

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Easy way to Donate to YSB!

Simply go to https://smile.amazon.com/. Amazon will ask you what charity you want to support and you can choose Youth Service Bureau of Illinois Valley. The next time you want to order something from Amazon instead of going to amazon.com go to smile.amazon.com and whenever you purchase something from the smile website, YSB will receive .5% of the sales.

There is no extra cost to you. The items cost the same, the shipping is the same, you can still get prime and free shipping, etc. It works. 

Spread the word!

Such an easy way to help our programs, and our kids… Please pass on to your friends, family, foster parents, everyone!

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10/22/2019 - Annual Report FY19 Now Available!

The Fiscal Year 2019 Annual Report is now availabe to view 

HERE


11/26/2019 - After School Program Promotes Fun and Continued Learning In Ladd

One of small-town Ladd’s best youth-based resources is tucked inside the Ladd Community Consolidated School on the edge of town. Here sits a place for children from Kindergarten through 6th grade to continue to learn, grow, and play even after their school day has ended.

Youth Service Bureau of Illinois Valley established and has supported the local After-School Program since 2004. It is currently being led by two dedicated and inspirational instructors, Nancy Piccatto and Julie Kobold.

The After-School Program began in the old school and has continued through many school and community changes. It currently has 20 children (give or take a few) registered at any given time during the school year.  

The program is designed to provide a safe, and more importantly, FUN place for children to hang out until they are able to be picked up by their parent or guardian.

Once the dismissal bell rings at 3:05 p.m., the participating children gleefully come into a classroom that is filled with books, toys, dry erase boards, a television, board games, and printout projects provided by Nancy and Julie.  They also plan out theme weeks to keep activities exciting, including “Apple Week” and “Fall Fun Fest” during the autumn and Holiday themed weeks throughout the year.

Older children, who have been in the program for years, are often trusted with responsibilities that help them grow more confident. They are given tasks such as running to the other end of the building to fetch a younger child, or are able to give their expertise to younger students during homework time. This establishes a great sense of pride in them as they grow into young adults, and eventually possible leaders.

Some children struggle through their schoolwork or with personal issues. The After-School Program helps them to resolve or lessen these hard feelings by providing them with the personal attention they desire and need. One child struggled with their grades and had a hard time getting through each day. Once they were given special homework time and received ample encouragement from Nancy and Julie, they were able to listen more attentively and then were able to open themselves up to achieving better grades. 

Parents compliment the program and love what it does for their child. Not only is it convenient, as many of them work long hours, but it provides them with peace of mind knowing that their child is being well taken care of in a safe space with friends. 

Nancy and Julie do fundraise efforts throughout the year to ensure that the children have the “extra” support for their well-rounded learning. Recently they held a “Chicken Dinner Night” at Rip’s in downtown Ladd, where they raised approximately $2,500. They also recently received a grant from Wal-Mart Distribution Center in nearby Spring Valley in the amount of $2,500. The Bureau County United Way is also a supporter of this program.

By 5:00 p.m. all the children have been safely picked up, and then Nancy and Julie go home feeling accomplished and grateful for their days work. Let’s give appreciation to these heroes who are making a positive impact on the life of each child they encounter!

 


1/2/2020 - MEET OUR SUPERVISOR TEAM

Meet our Supervisor Team: 
Lindsay Rossi - Community Services Supervisor

YSB holds a large presence in the community due to our work in child welfare, from families in crisis, to foster care and young adults desperately in need. The people who have dedicated their careers to those in need often go unseen, or are obscured amidst political debate on who should be funding and who should be funded. YSB staff, led by our Administration and Supervisor Team, work hard every day to ensure that each and every client is receiving the attention they need to lead successful, happy lives. This includes offering encouragement through daily ups and downs, or simply just “being there”.

One such caring individual is Lindsay Rossi. Lindsay joined YSB in 2009 and has held her current position of Community Services Supervisor since April of 2019. Under her title, she oversees the agency’s Runaway and Homeless Youth Program (short term intervention to clients who struggle with mental health, family conflict issues, school issues, etc.), TLP and Homeless Youth (helping young adults who are homeless to find their way again and to gain independency and permanent housing), Hope House (providing a safe place for parents and their children to have supervised visits, which helps create comfort and ease during transitions), and the Ladd After School Program (giving children a safe place after school to continue to grow and learn).

Lindsay decided to go into social work because of her own life experiences, and because she enjoys assisting individuals who come from difficult circumstances or have been through incredible trauma, and finding solutions to make their life easier or better for them.

Traumatized clients and families have been plentiful over the years, including: the many single parents simply trying to make ends meet; a father consumed with hopelessness as his young wife and mother of his children battles extreme mental illness; the teenager who took care of her siblings all of the time because her parents were absent; abused women and their feelings of worthlessness; children who have witnessed domestic violence from their parents; a cognitively delayed parent who feels frustrated because she is trying to parent the best way she can; families who have been evicted from their homes and battle homelessness; and children who suffer cruel abuse on a daily basis.

Even though these individuals and families suffer great despair through their hardship, they never give up. They are resilient. They find hope from their counselors, case worker, or from the many people who believe in them. There are limited, but extremely useful outside resources available for staff like Lindsay to direct to clients, ensuring that they can mostly find ways to better their lives.  

Even though her work is stressful, Lindsay has found that having a very strong support system of friends and family helps her get through her day. She makes a point of maintaining self-care after work so she can be at her best while she is here each day.  

The same goes for her staff. Lindsay encourages them to take care of themselves. The child welfare/social work field can be emotionally draining, so it is crucial that they practice self-care so no one gets burnt out quickly. Emotional health is just as important as physical health, so she tries to make the staff aware of that every day. If staff are taking care of themselves, then they will be able to provide the best work possible to their clients. 

There are always changes that can be made to better the child welfare system. First and foremost is decreasing the work load. There are a lot of social workers that are overloaded with a high caseload. Burn out is very common. There are often very high expectations set on case workers with little pay and high stress. Providing more available resources is also crucial in helping families, along with making a case workers life easier.

Lindsay concludes with giving all of her staff the praise they deserve. “Each staff member is dedicated to their job and to making a difference. I see that every day, and it makes me proud to be a part of something so special and great”.