Step Down Program Helps DCFS Kids Get Ready to Transition

As the urgent quarantine needs of the pre-vaccine pandemic subsided, plans turned once again to the creation of a Step Down program for youth ready to leave the Integrated Care Center the CQC and the Children’s Quarantine Center was no longer as necessary, the plans resumed to convert the space to the Step Down program. While that moved forward, a new challenge emerged – the Director of the Department of Children and Family Services in Illinois was charged with being in contempt of court for not finding appropriate placements for youth being held beyond medical necessity in hospitals and psychiatric facilities.

Hearing this news, Aunt Martha’s leadership knew the organization had to be a part of the solution. Today, we are planing to expand on the success of the ICC model — and welcome an exciting new partner — to allow Aunt Martha’s to take on more youth in crisis or with significant behavioral health needs.

We believe every child deserves a chance to feel safe, appreciated, and receive the care they need to succeed. We look forward to announcing more about this incredible expansion throughout 2022.

Aunt Martha’s facility in Midlothian, IL. Before the pandemic, the home operated as an independent living program. It then served as the only quarantine center for DCFS in Illinois. Soon, it will be a Step Down program for youth at our ICC.

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