Evanston
Family Focus Evanston serves the City of Evanston.

Family Focus Evanston began in 1976 as the original drop-in center for parents in Evanston, Illinois. As the flagship location of all Family Focus, Bernice Weissbourd invited parents of young children to come together to provide support and camaraderie for another to promote early childhood development.

Forty years later Family Focus continues to serve the Evanston community. Services available include early childhood home visiting, Family Advocacy Center, after school, Grandparents raising Grandchildren, and community partnership initiatives such as the Foster Street Urban Agriculture program.

Family Focus, Inc. offers innovative, community-based programs that help parents, grandparents, and foster and adoptive parents, gain confidence and competence as the primary educators of their children. Family Focus has eleven centers in Chicago and surrounding communities.

Available Programs

After-School Programs
After-school activities are offered Monday through Friday during the critical hours of 3 p.m.-6 p.m., the time when a lack of constructive activity and supervision can lead to risk-taking behavior. Most students attend four to five days per week through the regular school year. Programs focus on STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math), literacy, homework help, and arts activities.

Family Focus Evanston offers after-school programs at the Evanston center only. Please contact the center if you are interested in enrolling your child in the program.

Home Visiting
The home visiting program is open to caregivers with children from newborn to 3 years old. Parents receive visits from their home visitor to ensure their child is meeting development milestones through parent-child activities and education. Activities guide parents and children in sharing and learning activities that improve gross motor, language, fine motor, social, and emotional skills. Parent curriculum includes good maternal or paternal and child health, home safety, food security, positive parenting, and school readiness. Most home visiting programs also invite the parents to engage with other parents in the program through community events or support groups.
Family Advocacy Center
Known as FACs, Family Advocacy Centers are a partnership between Family Focus and the Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS). This program is open to parents who have been referred to DCFS for potential neglect or abuse. FACs provide parenting classes and one-on-one support, and can supervise visits with children who have been separated from their parents.
Fatherhood
Open to fathers, uncles, and grandfathers, the Power of Fathers program helps fathers learn positive parenting skills and build relationships with their children in a safe, welcoming setting. The group covers topics such as fathers’ rights, co-parenting, ex-offenders’ rights, job searching, child support information, parental self-esteem, domestic violence, child development and more.
Grandparents Raising Grandchildren
The Grandparents Raising Grandchildren (GRG) program works to locate, assist, and promote awareness of older caregivers who are currently raising their family’s children. The GRG provides support groups, information, and referral assistance from trained professionals and facilitators to meet grandparents’ needs.
Summer Camp
Summer camps keep students engaged and safe during the long break from school. Some are offered in partnership with the local parks department while others are held at the centers. Curriculum changes year to year and can vary based on what resources are nearby. Past summer camp activities include recreation activities such as swimming and yoga, arts and media projects, activism work in their local community, learning about history, and more.

Other Community Initiatives:

Foster Street Urban Agriculture Program: Established in 2016, our garden program is a collaboration between Family Focus Evanston and The Evanston Food Exchange. During the spring, summer, and fall seasons, children in this program learn about planting fresh produce, urban agriculture, entrepreneurship, how to cook with garden produce, how to harvest food, and how to sell their harvests at local farmers’ markets. For more information about the program, please contact Center Director Vanessa Allen at vanessa.allen-gaves@family-focus.org or our Master Gardener Mrs. Anne Sills at annemsills2@gmail.com.

Food Pantry and Clothing Closet: Family Focus Evanston has a food pantry and clothing room available for Evanston residents in need. The rooms operate thanks to the dedication of our amazing volunteers. The Giving Storeroom provides nonperishable food items, and the Valerie D. Summers Clothing Closet has clothing, shoes, toys, strollers, and other baby items. All items are provided by generous community donations. To stay up to date on the hours and calendar for the Storeroom and Closet, please follow Family Focus Evanston on Facebook.

How to donate: Due to COVID-19 protocols, the clothing closet is not accepting donations at this time. Only nonperishable food items are being accepted for the Giving Storeroom. If you would like to donate nonperishable food items, please contact us to make an appointment from Monday-Friday between 9 a.m.-4 p.m.

How to access: Due to COVID-19 protocols, the Giving Storeroom and clothing closet are only operating by appointment. If you are not already a Family Focus Evanston program participant, you must register to access the services.

To make an appointment or get more information about the Giving Storeroom or the Valerie D. Summers Clothing Closet, please contact Alexander Brown at alexander.brown@family-focus.org or Vanessa Allen-Graves at vanessa.allen-graves@family-focus.org.

Contact us about program enrollment or other general inquiries

2010 Dewey Avenue
Evanston, IL 60201

Get Directions

847-475-7570

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