In November of 2001, local professionals serving youth came together to talk about the unmet needs of LGBTQ+ youth and their families.  Our concerns ranged from the higher risks faced by gender expansive youth to the vast inadequacies of the system.  We questioned how to create the kind of change needed to effectively serve all of the youth in our communities, and we created a network to inspire and make that change. 

Today, community networks have taken hold in three counties in Illinois, offering professional development, shared resources, networking opportunities, and community education on issues pertaining to LGBTQ+ youth.  Mental health providers, school personnel, parents, and any professionals working with LGBTQ+ youth will find a wealth of resources in their community network.  

Find your network: DeKalb County, IL / DuPage County, IL / Kane County, IL / North Suburban, IL


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Mission

We provide a safe and respectful environment for professionals, service providers and community members to network, gain access, share resources, provide expertise and educate ourselves and the community on the needs of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and gender expansive, queer or questioning youth and their families.

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Education

We provide yearly trainings in the fall for mental health providers and in the spring for school personnel. Other education opportunities are available as needed and can be customized for a school or organization.

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Culture

We appreciate that we are all at different points in our experience, understand and acceptance of sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression and needs of LGBTQ+ youth and their families. We believe that the key to providing safe and affirming services to youth is through the education of ourselves and others.

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Values

We share trust, ideas, compassion, enthusiasm, accountability, and recognition. We strive to maintain diversity, unity, confidence and a sense of humor.


Interested in joining the network? Partners and sponsors of the Community Network actively participate in monthly meetings, plan activities, provide event space, financial support or advertisements for Network activities. We currently have networks in DuPage, Kane, DeKalb and the Northern Suburbs. With YOUR help, we can implement safe, affirming practices for LGBTQ+ individuals in your organizations and community. 

For more information or to join the Network, please contact Carolyn Wahlskog at cwahlskog@360youthservices.org or (331) 215 - 7388x 1168