Phalanx Family Services - Youth Services



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Building Strong Families
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Basic Nursing Assistant Training

An 8-week course that includes Career Development seminars/workshops incorporated in the program to prepare students for employment.


This program is dedicated to mentoring youth and obtaining gainful employment.                        

Job Shadowing

Job shadowing helps to provide the job skills necessary to obtain valuable work experience and ensure they reach their employment goals.


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Illinois Violence Prevention Authority


To reduce and/or eliminate the effects of violence on children


Training Connecting Developing Illinois Workforce

Expanding economic opportunity... through partnerships that leverage technology



The Phalanx team teaches positive lifestyle and assists clients in identifying educational pursuits and/or jobs that lead to self-sufficiency.  We serve both youth and adults who have multiple barriers to education and employment.  Ex-offenders comprise 40% of our clientele.  Our mission is to lead economically disadvantaged adults, youth, and families toward self-sufficiency through employment-centered programs, develop their skills and education, and deepen their involvement in the community.  Our south side headquarters is located at 837 W. 199th Street; targeting the Roseland, Pullman, West Pullman, Washington Heights and Riverdale communities.

Phalanx Family Services (PFS) Youth Services Department provides mentoring to in-school and out-of school youth throughout several programs.  Our mentoring programs are delicately handled with care as we recognize the fragility of our young people.  We know the importance to place a particularly high premium on our ability to listen to our clients, and we actively teach listening skills to all staff.  This is especially important with high risk youth.  By carefully listening to young people we can best individualize services to their needs, setting them on a career trajectory early; selecting the most appropriate resources for youth based on needs, barriers, abilities, and suitability.  Most of our young people come to Phalanx for the more intimate, personalized setting needed to overcome fears, feelings of helplessness, in addition to their career or educational barriers. 

Phalanx Youth Services Department currently provide the following programs to our youth and young adults:

R.I.S.E.:  Restoring Individuals through Supportive Environments (R.I.S.E.) is a 6-month intensive group counseling, mentorship, and skill-building program for justice-involved youth, focused on civic engagement and restorative justice.  Our mentor work with males ages 15-17 (in cohorts of 12) who have two or more previous arrests.  Participants engage in the Civic Leadership Foundation project-based curriculum designed to employer young people with a deeper sense of responsibility for themselves and to community.

SUMMER JOBS & BEYOND:  The Summer Jobs & Beyond program is a continuation of summer employment, where young people, new to the workforce, or those with limited current or past work experience, are provided with work experience and career education opportunities that will lead to year-round employment or post-secondary education.  Phalanx currently work with 56 individuals (38 in-school and 13 out-of-school) ages 16-24.

WIOA:  Phalanx's Workforce Investment Opportunity Act (WIOA) program works with young people ages 16-24 possessing one of seven barriers to employment and/or education.  Our WIOA program emphasizes employment and education centered programs for a caseload of 31 out-of-school youth and 25 in-school youth and provide case management, mentoring and supportive services.

YOUTH FUTURES:  Phalanx is contracted with the he Cook Workforce Partnership who was funded by the Vera Institute of Justice to provide the Youth Futures Program.  This project highlights 7 core components centered around employment and education for juvenile justice system-involved and/or high risk youth ages 16-21.

ASM:  Afterschool Matters (ASM) "Behind the Scenes" gives youth, ages 13-18, a VOICE for positive change in their community.  Through developing an original CD, youth's original songs and beats are created through their ability to generate solid solutions from exploring real world problems and challenges.  PSA's/documentaries are derived from a deeper knowledge revealing how education and employment are connected to community health." These activities are accomplished through groupthink, music and video performance, graphic design and social advocacy.


Genesis Project provides intense on-on-one mentoring to 80 in-school youth ages 15-18; engagement in the youth's academic and personal life; youth participate in focus group sessions; assists in meeting young person's Individual Service Plan (ISP); receives life skills coaching; personal supports; and track youth's digression or progression.  Our Genesis Project serves 90% of youth enrolled at Julian High School.  Other schools include; Fenger, Lindblom, Robeson and Morgan Park high schools.

  • One-on-One Sessions:  Each mentee receives one mentor and meets with their mentor 2 hours (per setting) at least twice a month (a total of 4 hours of intensive mentoring).  During this session, young people discuss relationships, health, activities, beliefs, careers, school, family/friends, and community.  Mentees discuss their ISP's and their progress in fulfilling their goals.  Intensive settings are used in different ways.  Some mentors include in their session time to watch motivational clips with mentees.  This encourages discussions and thoughts.  Mentors also direct and provide mentees with various supports to aid in the mentees success.  These support include, transportation, clothing, emergency assistance, etc.

  • Engagement in Youth's Academic and Personal Life:  Each mentor familiarizes themselves into the young person's life by communicating with he young person's parents, teachers, and extra-curricular instructors.  Many mentors attend games and dances with their mentees.  The mentors' direct involvement leads to positive behavioral changes with mentees.

  • Focus Groups:  Youth meet quarterly to participate in a guided discussion by a focus group facilitator.  Many topics includes-graduation, violence, politics, gangs, substance abuse, police brutality, etc.

  • Individual Service Plans (ISP):  Each young person has completed ISPs.  Each ISP includes 5 goals (3 short-term, 2 long-term), and young people create goals that focus on one of the following--personal, financial, educational, spiritual, physical, health, mental, etc.  During the mentees session, they discuss their progress with their goals and what is needed to fulfill the goal.  The mentor provides resources and motivates young people to achieve their goals.

  • Life Skills Coaching:  Through empowerment and motivation, mentors help young people to meet their goals in their personal life, by helping them understand what has been productive vs. unproductive in their lives.

  • Supportive Services:  Young people are referred to Phalanx wide variety of services, such as clothing, coats and transportation. Mentees are also co-enrolled into Phalanx programs (if eligible) to maximize support.  Most young people need coats for the winter, transportation or school uniforms.  There are more serious home situations when young people are referred to our Emergency Assistance program.

  • Tracking Progress:  Mentors track youth's academic and personal successes each month.  This is done through communication with teachers, mentee/mentor sessions, report cards and progress reports, accomplishing ISP goals and deadlines.

Phalanx desires to expand our intensive mentoring for 50 in-school youth, grades 8th, 9th, and 10th.  These young people will meet 4 days per week afterschool for 3 hours.  Youth will receive a $200 stipend at the completion of their preparation for One Summer Chicago Work-Based Learning opportunities and Job Skill's Training Portfolio.  We desire to address prevalent issues in the youth's life (i.e., new school environment, improving behavior, interpersonal relations, coping with grief or loss, handling environmental stress and regulating emotions).  Youth will participate in a structured course of events allowing flexibility for events, activities, and teachings to be youth-led:

Intense Mentoring: (Continuous) Employability Soft Skills Training
  • 2 hours per month of one-on-one mentoring
  • Review family, health, mental and employment assessments taken during intake
  • Job Skills Training
  • Financial Literacy
  • Transferrable Skills
  • Values
  • Resume'
  • Cover Letter
  • Recommendation Letters
  • Employment Portfolio
Career Exploration (March) Leadership Development (January/April)
  • Exploring interests, values and skill levels
  • Researching careers
  • Understanding education's connection to employment and trades
  • Comprehending unemployment's connection to community health and violence
  • Discussing community strengths/weakness/ opportunities/threats
  • Job Shadowing opportunities
  • Time  & Stress Management
  • Service Learning Projects
  • Debates/Public Speaking Competitions
  • PSA's on Violence
  • Minute with Maxwell
  • Motivation Mondays
  • Youth Led Workshops
College Preparation:  (February) Anti-Violence as theme of all projects/activities (Continuous)
  • Understanding "What is best for me, right now?"
  • College/Tours Interests
  • What do I need to know about college?
  • Credentials and Licenses
  • What's next after High School" (or 8th Grade)
  • College Tours
  • Types of Colleges


  • Workshops
  • Restorative Justice Activities
  • Peace Circles
  • Extra-Curricular Activities
  • Community Events
  • Parent Nights
  • Recognition Events
  • Field Trips
  • Peace Logo Competitions

The projected outcomes for the young people participating in the Expansion project includes:

  • 80% of youth gain skills to resolve conflict and deflect violence

  • Through mentor relationships 85% of youth plan for a positive future

  • 75% of youth will have improved school attendance

  • 72% will improve or maintain academic performance

  • 75% of youth will become involve in building the community through developing and participating in safer community projects

  • 90% of youth will participate in soft skills training and workshops

  • 85% of 8th graders will graduate elementary school

  • 85% of 9th & 10th graders will remain in school





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