“Our relationship has improved a lot. I’m very thankful for this program. There has not been any major conflict.”
- Step-Up parent, 12/2020
Step-Up is a group therapy intervention targeted toward adolescents involved in the juvenile justice system for domestic violence-related cases. This group combines adolescents and their parents/guardians for evidence-based treatment. Step-Up is structured into 21-weekly sessions using a set curriculum. This program is conducted by NEDFYS clinicians in collaboration with DuPage County Probation.
Testimonial from our Partner:
-On March 2, 2010, the DV Step Up program began its first group in DuPage County. Today is Step Up’s
10-year anniversary. In the 10 years since the Step-Up program started, there have been 287 cases that
have gone to at least 1 group session and 170 who have completed all 21-week sessions and graduated
The program’s objective isn’t about improving school attendance or not using marijuana, its goal is to
teach kids skills so they are not violent with their parents/caregivers AND teach parents skills on ways
they can support their child with being non-violent.
The program undeniably achieves its objective for those that stay with it and graduate. Of the 170 cases
that completed the program successfully, only 11 (6%) were rearrested for a new DV case within 12
months after graduating from the program. And those that didn’t make it all 21 weeks, it’s highly likely
they learned some skills that they have used to be non-violent; 18% of them were rearrested for a new
DV case within one year of their case closing.
Step Up was a collaborative effort between the Juvenile Court Judges, the States Attorney’s Office, the
Public Defender’s office, Northeast DuPage Family and Youth Services and Probation. It was one of the
initiatives born from the Models for Change four-year grant that DuPage County received from the
MacArthur Foundation beginning in 2006. On behalf of the Probation Department, thank you to all
those involved with the creation and continuation of this Program!