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Child Welfare

All of the children, youth and young adults served by our child welfare programs come to Aunt Martha’s having been removed from their birth families because of abuse or neglect. Aunt Martha’s provides comprehensive child welfare services to give these children the chance at a real childhood through safe living environments, caring families and access to quality health care.

Using a community-based approach, HealthWorks is designed to improve the health status of children in the custody of the State of Illinois by ensuring the availability of accessible, well-coordinated, continuous, comprehensive, quality health care services.

Aunt Martha’s is the lead agency for the HealthWorks program in Cook County.

  • Initial Health Screenings within 24 hours after protective custody has been taken by DCFS
  • Comprehensive Health Evaluations within 21 days of legal (temporary) custody
  • Primary Care Physician for each child
  • Regular Well-Child Exams and Immunizations
  • Access to Specialty Health Care
  • Health Passports; documenting all health care services

For more detailed information about the HealthWorks program, including staff contact information, visit HealthWorks Cook County.

The Integrated Care Center (ICC) represents the continued evolution of services that respond to the needs of abused and neglected youth. What was originally a “traditional” residential shelter setting and intake hub for DCFS youth in Cook County has – through advocacy and innovation – transformed into a physician-led, trauma-informed treatment setting specializing in caring DCFS youth with the most significant mental health needs.

The ICC’s innovative design incorporates Aunt Martha’s extensive experience working with the DCFS youth population, as well as the evidence-based, value-driven best practices that serve as the foundation for our industry-leading integrated care model.  In short, there is no other organization in Illinois with the depth of knowledge, scope of services, or proven ability to provide the level of care available at the Integrated Care Center.

Click here for more detailed information about the services available on-site and care coordination, medical, dental, mental health, and education/recreation services.

The services available to all youth placed at the ICC include:

  • On-site Medical Care
    • Primary care
    • Psychiatry
    • Nurses on-site 24/7
    • Dental (currently limited for pandemic-related precaution)
  • On-site Mental Health Services
    • Therapy
    • Crisis Counseling
    • Substance Use Counseling
    • ABA Therapy
  • Education & Recreation
    • Education (On-site and Off-site, with access to home school, as appropriate)
    • Recreation and Enrichment
  • Care Coordination

Our Independent Living program helps young adults (age 19 – 21) who are wards of the State of Illinois make their transition to independence and adulthood. Aunt Martha’s staff provide guidance and support, but the goal of the program is independence.

The young adults who participate in the program receive assistance locating and maintaining housing in the community of their choice, and they work with our staff to develop the skills necessary to achieve and maintain self-sufficiency.

Program participants must be referred by the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services.

Part of Aunt Martha’s role is to help support families in order to keep kids from going into the DCFS system. The families who participate in the program are assigned a temporary, short-term case manager who educates and helps link the family to support and services within their home community.

Families must be referred by a Department of Children and Family Services caseworker, and are only eligible to participate in the program if it is determined that the child’s health and safety will not be endangered by allowing them to remain with their family.