Sibling Foster Care
Our Sibling Foster Care program gives children in foster care the opportunity to grow up with their siblings as a family, and with a
supportive Foster Parent who lives
in the home with them.
Our Fostering Families program focuses on helping biological parents overcome the issues that brought their children into care.
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 and other areas of risk.
SOS Illinois University
SOS Illinois University is the comprehensive educational and training program for SOS Illinois Foster Parents and serves as an ongoing resource to staff, Foster Parents, biological parents, and community.
SOS Children’s Villages 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.
SOS Children’s Villages is founded in Austria by Hermann Gmeiner, with the first SOS Children’s Village based in Imst, Austria.
At the request of Hans A. Schieser, PhD, Professor Emeritus, DePaul University Chicago, Hermann Gmeiner, founder of SOS Children’s Villages International, and Helmut Kutin, second president of SOS Children’s Villages International, host a seminar at DePaul University to discuss the establishment of the first SOS Children’s Village in the United States, ideally established in the Chicagoland area.
SOS Children’s Villages Illinois is Incorporated as an Organization.
June 6, 1992: The Ground Breaking Ceremony is held at the Lockport Village.
SOS Ilinois became the first self-funded SOS organization in the United States, and has operated as its own 501 (c)(3) since 1993.
The Lockport Village opens, offering 10 single-family homes including a Director’s Home and a facility for training Foster Parents.
The first siblings find a home at the Lockport Village as part of the Sibling Foster Care Program, which gives children in foster care the opportunity to grow up with their siblings as a family.
October 1994: The Lockport Village Dedication Ceremony takes place commemorating the first Village built in the State of Illinois.
SOS Children’s Villages Illinois forms an exploratory committee to find potential sites for the second Village, to be located in Chicago.
The Lockport Village expands with eight additional homes. The Director’s Home and residence for training future Foster Parents are converted to homes for the Sibling Foster Care Program, bringing the Village total to 18 homes.
Through a partnership with the City of Chicago, SOS Children’s Villages Illinois opens the Chicago Village at 76th and Parnell in the Auburn-Gresham neighborhood with 16 homes for the Sibling Foster Care Program. Mayor Richard M. Daley joins SOS Children’s Villages Illinois for the opening ceremony.
Chicago Village launches its innovative Fostering Families Program in four homes. Fostering Families provides biological parents with the support needed to overcome substance abuse. Biological parents live in an in-law apartment, while Foster Parents care for their children and serve as parent coaches, teaching biological parents the skills and strategies needed for effective parenting.
The Lavezzorio Community Center opens at the Chicago Village. The Lavezzorio Community Center serves as the gateway to the Chicago Village and is home to educational, recreational, therapeutic, and childcare services offered by SOS Children’s Villages Illinois and its community partners.
The YMCA opens the day care center at the Lavezzorio Community Center. The Auburn-Gresham neighborhood now has access to much needed child care services.
SOS Children’s Villages Illinois is awarded the Richard H. Driehaus Award for both Architectural Excellence in Community Design and Outstanding Non-profit Neighborhood Real Estate Project for the Lavezzorio Community Center.
August 25, 2009: Illinois Governor Pat Quinn signs a series of bills that enhance and improve child welfare services in Illinois. Together, these bills enable the Department of Children and Family Services to better support families in need, strengthen relationships between parents and children, and build better futures for youth transitioning from state care to adult independence.
SOS Children’s Villages Illinois acquires Casa Tepeyac in the Back of the Yards neighborhood. SOS Children’s Villages Illinois assumes the programs previously run by Boys Town Chicago, continuing to offer comprehensive child and family services to at-risk youth in the Chicago area.
April 2012: SOS Children’s Villages Illinois purchases an additional home at the Chicago Village, bringing the total to 17 homes.
December 2012: SOS Children’s Villages Illinois secures funds from the City of Chicago, obtains land from the Chicago Housing Authority, and approves the development of a Village in the Roosevelt Square neighborhood of Chicago, IL.
June 2014: SOS Children’s Villages Illinois breaks ground on the fourth Village in the Roosevelt Square neighborhood.
October 28, 2014: SOS Children’s Villages Illinois opens the Roosevelt Square Village, a 14-home Village designed to provide homes and critical support services to 84 children through the Sibling Foster Care Program.
SOS Children’s Villages Illinois celebrates our 25th Anniversary and honors the legacy our of founders, donors, supporters, Foster Parents, staff, and youth who have enriched our community for over two decades.
May 31, 2018: SOS Illinois brings back Dining & Conversation, our spring gala, with Luminaries including Christian Bale and Gloria Steinem. This event served as a culmination of Foster Care Awareness Month.
October 2018: SOS Illinois holds a Community Announcement event to share the latest details on the upcoming Roosevelt Square Community Center to break ground in the spring.
May 1, 2019: Christian Bale launches the #Voices4FosterCare Campaign in correlation with Dining & Conversation. Bale is joined at the event by Adam McKay, Gillian Flynn, David Eigenberg, and other notable names in entertainment, business, and civics.
June 11, 2019: SOS Illinois breaks ground on the Roosevelt Square Community Center in the company of key funders, supporters, and friends, such as Maestro Cares, Wintrust, and Goya.
SOS Illinois has entered the construction phase of the Roosevelt Square Community Center with a projected opening date of 2020, and is celebrating its 30th year of serving children and families.