SOS Illinois’ Programs and Services support Children and Families Involved in the Foster Care System in Illinois.
At SOS Illinois, we transform families and lives. Our goal is to provide healing and hope to the children and families that we serve. We accomplish this through our unique Village model of foster care offering programing the unites families, as well as provides preventative services.
Sibling Foster Care
In the United States, three of our every four sibling groups are separated in foster care. Larger sibling groups – containing three, four, or more siblings – are more likely to be split into different homes, neighborhoods, or cities. For children entering our Villages, being placed with siblings can enhance their sense of safety and well-being, as well as provide comfort during this time of transition. At SOS Illinois, we work with DCFS to facilitate sibling placements under the care of a professional Foster Parent excited to welcome up to six siblings into their home. Our Village homes are safely placed within a larger community built to provide therapeutic, educational, and developmental support services.
Together with select off-site providers, we work towards a common goal of reaching appropriate developmental milestones, enhancing social skills, and creating a path towards healing. We also go the extra mile academically by assuring that each child’s school is complete with the resources they need to thrive. This can mean more opportunities for challenges in the classroom, tutoring support, or an Individualized Educational Program (IEP). These additional resources have been key in ensuring that SOS Illinois helps every child graduate. We celebrate a 100% high school graduation rate, compared to 50% for children in traditional Foster Care.
Children aren’t the only ones who benefit from SOS Illinois. Our Foster Parents, Child Welfare Specialists, and supportive team work closely with biological parents and work towards reunification. They do this through comprehensive counseling and training. This close connection strengthens healthy relationships between biological parents and children with a goal to reunite families. We also create numerous activities and events for families to connect, while children are in our care. We believe in the importance of supporting family bonds. Our Racial Justice Committee has provided meaningful opportunities for children and birth parents to connect throughout the year.
In-Home Family Services
Our In-Home Family Services strengthen families by helping them tackle tough problems and stabilize the home environment. Our staff at Casa Tepeyac accomplished this by working closely with families on conflict resolution skills and helping them learn effective parenting styles. We also provide access to support services. This In-Home Family Service can lead to an improved social life for children, better coping skills, and improved academic proficiency.
Another valuable resource provided through our staff at Casa Tepeyac are workshops to help parents learn new skills to ensure families remain intact whenever possible.
Training and Ongoing Education
We require our Foster Parents to “enroll” in training and ongoing education above and beyond the sessions DCFS mandates. Additionally, we offer our trainings to our community, thus our Foster Parents and biological parents alike have access to our comprehensive educational program. This program helps parents evaluate their homes and implement effective parenting strategies.
All these services help us to accomplish our ultimate goal of transforming families and lives. If you’d like to learn more about SOS Illinois and our services, please contact us here or visit our Facebook page.
If you missed previous posts in our Did You Know?: Blog Series, we are sharing them here, so you can enjoy, while learning more about SOS Illinois – Blog #1 – History of SOS, Blog #2 – Founding of Lockport Village, Blog #3 – Celebrating Siblings, Blog #4 – Evolution of Permanency, Blog #5 – The 5th Pillar, Blog #6 – Sustainable Features, Blog #7 – Goya Foods Learning Kitchen, Blog # 8 – The Village Difference, Blog #9 – The Importance of Clinical Services, Blog #10 – Our Homes the Center of Stability, and Blog #11 – The Importance of Adoption for Children in Foster Care.