SOS Children’s Villages Illinois offers an innovative approach to traditional foster care. Our model of care gives children the opportunity to live in a nurturing, stable, single-family home with their brothers and sisters in the care of a full-time, professionally trained Foster Parent in one of our Villages. Children benefit from the stability of remaining with their siblings as well as the support of neighboring SOS Illinois Foster Parents and the entire community.
Each Village offers comprehensive services including: individual and group counseling, mentoring, and educational and cultural enrichment opportunities. This highly supportive setting provides children a sense of safety, security, and community, encouraging them on their journey toward healing and reaching their fullest potential.
Sibling Foster Care
Our Sibling Foster Care program gives foster children the opportunity to grow up with their siblings as a family, with a supportive Foster Parent who lives in the home with them. Our homes allow up to six siblings in a single home, providing them therapeutic, educational, and developmental support services. In this nurturing family environment, children gain a sense of security. When their physical and emotional needs are met, they are able to concentrate on education, their sense of self, and thrive as young adults.
Our Fostering Families program focuses on helping biological parents overcome the issues that brought their children into care. While parents receive intense counseling, our professional SOS Illinois Foster Parents care for children in a single-family home adjacent to the biological parents’ residence in the Village. This living arrangement allows for biological parents to continue their relationship with their children while receiving treatment and training.
In-Home Family Services
In-Home Family Services help families build on their strengths, tackle tough problems, and stabilize to help youth deal with issues related to gang involvement or intimidation, delinquency, academics, and relationships. Our staff work in the family home and community to help parents gain effective parenting skills, attain support services, resolve conflict and crisis, deter gang involvement, and improve social, life, coping, and academic skills.
SOS University is the comprehensive educational and training program for SOS Foster Parents and serves as an ongoing resource to staff, Foster Parents, biological parents, and community members. This comprehensive educational program helps parents and primary caregivers evaluate their homes and implement effective parenting strategies.
For over 25 years SOS Children’s Villages Illinois has provided the highest quality of care for Illinois’ most vulnerable children and families. It is the first self-funded SOS organization in the United States, and has operated as its own 501 (c)(3) since 1993.
Today, the organization operates four sites: three Villages providing sibling group foster care at an 18-home Village (opened in 1993) in Lockport, Illinois; a 19-home Village (opened in 2004) in the Auburn Gresham/Englewood neighborhood of Chicago; a 14-home Village (opened in 2014) in the Roosevelt Square Community of Chicago; and Casa Tepeyac (acquired in 2011), a facility that offers preventative and in-home family services in the Back of the Yards neighborhood of Chicago.
SOS-Kinderdorf International, the parent organization of SOS Children’s Villages Illinois, began in Europe in 1945, providing aid to children orphaned or abandoned during World War II. The first SOS Children’s Village opened in Imst, Austria in 1949. Today SOS-Kinderdorf International is the largest non-denominational child welfare organization in the world with more than 73,400 children living in over 550 SOS Villages in more than 130 countries. More than 1.2 million children and adults are benefiting from various social services provided by SOS-Kinderdorf International.
Since our beginning, we have carried on the successful track record of SOS-Kinderdorf International here in Illinois. We continue to strive to provide children the highest level of support and resources needed to develop into caring, productive, self-reliant adults.
Awards, Accreditations, and Honors
- Charity Navigator’s 3-star rating
- GuideStar Gold-level nonprofit
- Council on Accreditation (C.O.A.) Certified
- Richard H. Driehaus Award for Architectural Excellence in Community Design (2009) and Richard H. Driehaus Award for Outstanding Non-Profit Neighborhood Real Estate Project (2009) for the Lavezzorio Community Center at the Chicago Village
- In 2009, Illinois Governor Pat Quinn signed three groundbreaking pieces of legislation at the Chicago Village; this legislation protects foster children and extends services to children after exiting the foster care system
- In 2012, SOS Illinois was recognized by Chicago Magazine as one of 15 charities in the City of Chicago to be awarded “The Gold Standard”
- In 2015, named one of 20 top charities in Chicago by Chicago Magazine