Children, Youth & Families

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For more than a century, Volunteers of America of Illinois has been meeting the critical needs of children and families throughout Illinois with a variety of strength-based, child-centered and family-focused services designed to strengthen families, promote healthy development and ensure safety, premanency and well-being for children.

Each year we serve approximately 500 children through a broad continuum of child welfare services including foster care, kinship care and adoption.

Our philosophical approach to child welfare services is anchored to a deep understanding of and commitment to the importance of preserving children’s attachments. Our interventions are designed to minimize the trauma and subsequent separation and loss issues experienced by children who are removed from their birth families.
 
A collaborative and participatory approach to decision-making serves as the foundation of our casework practice. Foster parents, birth parents, extended family and the children themselves are actively engaged in the interventions and decisions that move the child to permanency. The goal of achieving the best permanency option for each child is always rooted to an ongoing commitment to ensuring their short and long-term safety and well-being.
 
EVERY CHILD DESERVES A SAFE PLACE TO CALL HOME
 
•      There are more than 3 million reports of child abuse every year in this country.
•      Four children die every day as a result of child abuse – almost 80% of those victims are under the age of 4.
•      In Illinois, more than 110,000 children were reported to the child abuse hotline last year.
•      Approximately 17,000 children are in foster care at any given time in Illinois because of abuse or neglect.
•      Children who do not find a safe, nurturing home while in foster care are significantly more likely to experience mental health disorders, addiction and homelessness.
 
Our response to children in need...
 
Safe and Nurturing Homes
We recruit and manage a large network of foster homes specifically trained to meet the special needs of children in foster care
 
Supportive Services
Our therapeutic and support services address the separation, loss and trauma experienced by children and families in foster care
 
Long-term Well-being
We are committed to pursuing the best permanency option for each child which may include reunification, adoption or independence.