Child Welfare Services is for families that are referred by Illinois Department of Child and Family Services. We provide short-term case management (30 days) to assess family needs, enroll in Family Focus services and/or refer families to other direct service agencies and resources. (Currently only offered at DuPage Center.)
The Extended Family Support is an Illinois Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) program that provides short term services when a relative suddenly becomes the primary caregiver for a child. The program eases the transition by providing referrals to resources, obtaining basic goods and services needed to provide the child a stable home, and obtaining guardianship of the child. The goal of the program is to enhance a caregiver’s ability to provide physical, emotional, and social development support for the child.
Known as FACs, Family Advocacy Centers are a partnership between Family Focus and the Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS). Parents who are reported to DCFS for potential abuse or neglect work with staff called Family Support Workers. FACs provide parenting classes, one-on-one support, and can supervise visits with children who have been separated from their parents.
The Power of Fathers Collaborative is open to all fathers (new, teen, uncles, grandfathers, etc.) trying to reconnect with their families and learn positive parenting skills to build relationships with their children in a safe, welcoming setting. The 12-week program covers topics such as: fathers’ rights, ex-offender rights, job referrals, child support information, male-female relationships, grandfathering, parental self-esteem, domestic violence, child development, and more. The Power of Fathers Collaborative is a partnership with Children’s Home & Aid, Metropolitan Family Services, and Fathers, Families and Healthy Communities.
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.
Family Focus provides immigrant families and individuals with bilingual services to provide pathways to success, including assistance with citizenship process by accredited staff, DACA renewal, interpretation services, ESL and GED classes, citizenship classes, referrals to healthcare, education, and employment resources, and more.
In partnership with the Illinois Department of Human Services, several centers are also Illinois Welcoming Centers (IWC). IWCs provide comprehensive case management services for immigrants and refugees to help eliminate barriers that immigrants may have. Services include connecting individuals to state and federal resources and information, educational workshops and information, and linguistic support.
To help break the cycle of violence for families, this program addresses trauma at the most critical stage in a child’s development and involves the entire family in the healing process. Interventions provide case management and family support services tailored to the needs of each individual family. Therapy used to address trauma uses child-parent psychotherapy (CPP), and family therapy. In each approach, the interventions focus on the caregiver, not the therapist, as the primary source of support for the child.
Families work with their assigned therapist to create an Individual Family Support Plan (IFSP) based on the family’s concerns, goals, preferences, and the therapist’s assessments. These plans may also include referral to other appropriate resources within and outside of Family Focus services. Most services are home-based to accommodate families’ transportation costs, the challenges of readying a family for travel, privacy and confidentiality, and safety.
For many families, a loss of housing can mean losing their children to DCFS custody, and finding safe and stable housing is a requirement for families and children to reunite after DCFS involvement. This program prevents substitute care placement by providing housing assistance and advocacy. In addition, youth who are aging out of foster care are served, helping to find affordable housing for successful independent living.
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