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Schaumburg seeks to transition overage participants out of Teen Center


Schaumburg’s Health and Human Services Committee Wednesday endorsed ongoing planning to transition 10 overage, special-needs clients of the village’s teen center out of the program and create a stronger expectation of such an endpoint for younger and future participants.

Though the teen center was created in 1979 to cater to junior high and high school students ages 12 to 19, nine of the clients in question are ages 20 to 24 while the last is a 30-year-old man who uses a wheelchair as a result of the multiple sclerosis he’s had since childhood.

Steve Isackson, the founder of the teen center and chairman of its advisory board, said these participants continued to be welcomed because of the important role the program played in their socialization.

“We do know that we need a transition program,” he told the three trustees on the committee. “We’re happy to work with you.”

Isackson said the oldest participant, for example, visits the center to play video games with the adult volunteers and doesn’t interact with the teens. All interaction among participants is well monitored by the volunteers, he added.

Trustee Marge Connelly asked whether the young man might qualify to be a volunteer himself. Isackson said he thought that could be an option, unlike for those whose special needs are related to cognitive development.

Connelly also suggested the Schaumburg Park District could help find adult programs for special-needs alumni through the Northwest Special Recreation Association. Isackson agreed that could be a long-term solution for some but likely was an option for only one of the 10 clients currently under consideration.

Village Manager Brian Townsend said there is no firm time frame yet to implement a transition process, but staff members wanted to make sure elected officials thought they were on the right track.

Within the last month, these clients and their families have been informed that a policy change is under consideration, said Kristin Jordan, the village’s supervisor of human services.

Another recent change was the fingerprinting and renewed vetting of the current volunteers, which Isackson said caused a week’s delay in their ability to work at the center. A miscommunication caused the village’s internal deadline for such fingerprinting to pass before the volunteers were even made aware of it, he said.


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