The Start to Finish Coalition is an advocacy coalition focused on the needs of youth ages 8-25. We believe that young people can and will thrive if they are stable, safe, healthy, educated, employable and connected.
Our mission is to promote the activities, funding and research that guide youth through school and into young adulthood with the skills, education and agency to build exceptional lives.
● All youth will thrive if they are stable, safe, healthy, educated, employable and connected;
● A person’s brain is still developing well into their mid 20s, which means that we must build
on and continue the work done in early childhood;
● Youth goals are interconnected and interdependent – youth must be supported in all six
developmental areas to reach their full potential;
● There are approaches that can and do work with elementary school, middle school and older
● Youth and families are the experts on their own lives and what works best for them;
● All youth do not have the same needs or live in the same circumstances with the same
resources; therefore, interventions and resources must be distributed equitably.
The Start to Finish Coalition is growing and is currently comprised of advocates, community organizations, trade organizations and other non-governmental agencies committed to advocating for older youth. Please contact Stefanie Polacheck email@example.com to join the Coalition.
Items Championed by the Start to Finish Coalition
o HB5202 – Rep. LaShawn Ford (D-Chicago) – creates the Youth Budget Commission with the purpose of creating a yearly analysis of the State budget across the six developmental goals (stable, safe, healthy, educated, employable and connected) that all youth need to build exceptional lives. The Youth Budget Commission will utilize the fiscal scan to advise the Governor, General Assembly and State agencies on ways to improve and expand existing policies, services, programs and opportunities for youth and young adults ages 8-25.
o MAP Grants – The State budget should include a ten per cent ($40.1 million) increase to MAP Grant funding.
Bills Endorsed by the Start to Finish Coalition
o HB4208 – Rep. Chris Welch (D- Westchester), Rep. Juliana Stratton (D-Chicago), Rep. Linda Chapa LaVia (D-Aurora) – creates the Safe Schools and Healthy Learning Environments Grant Program to decrease the use of exclusionary discipline by supporting the implementation of restorative justice programs and social services, such as behavioral health.
o SB2951 – Sen. Melinda Bush (D-Grayslake), Sen. Pam Althoff (R-McHenry), Sen. Pat McGuire (D-Joliet) – creates the Early Mental Health and Addictions Treatment Act. Requires the Department of Healthcare and Family Services to develop a pilot program under which a qualifying adolescent or young adult may receive community-based mental health treatment from a youth-focused community support team for early treatment specifically tailored to the needs of youth and young adults in the early stages of a serious emotional disturbance or serious mental illness.
o SB3213 – Sen. Melinda Bush (D-Grayslake) – amends the Illinois Insurance Code to require group or individual policies of accident and health insurance or managed care plans to provide coverage for early treatment of serious mental health conditions.
o HB2628 – Rep. Laura Fine (D- Glenview) – amends the Juvenile Court Act of 1997 to consider people under the age of 21 who commit misdemeanor offenses as minors. Currently juveniles under the age of 18 are considered minors when committing misdemeanor offenses.