DCFS Child Wellness

A commitment to social justice has always been key to the foundation of Aunt Martha’s Health and Wellness. From the start, diversity, equity, and inclusion were a genuine and natural piece of the model of care for youth, families, and the community. Early employees tell stories of the incredibly diverse staff and volunteer base – all ages, races, ethnicities, genders, orientations, and abilities were represented from the ground up.

newspaper headline, pastor says racism drives opposition to home for boys

Our internal diversity gives Aunt Martha’s an appreciation of and dedication to social justice. It’s part of who we are – to be a voice for the vulnerable or marginalized our community.

Aunt Martha’s has taken its advocacy for the people we serve all the way to the federal courts in order ensure they get the care and services they need in an environment without prejudice or restriction.

Quite simply,

We do what’s right.

That’s our commitment to every child and adult – for the next 50 years and beyond.

Aunt Martha’s worked hard to overcome public resistance to its group homes for DCFS youth.

The BMN Crisis Worsens

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 (BMN) in hospitals and psychiatric facilities.

Expanding on the ICC Model

Hearing this news, Aunt Martha’s leadership knew the organization had to be a part of the solution. Today, we are planning 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.

quiet residential home, aunt martha's health and wellness

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