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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Children & Youth, Children & Youth Services, Education, Human Services, Mental Health, Residential Care & Adult Day Programs, Residential Mental Health Treatment, Special Education

Mission: Lawrence Hall Youth Services is a not-for-profit child welfare agency established to assist, through a seamless delivery of services, at-risk youth and their families, to develop the self-worth, knowledge, and skills they need to lead independent and productive lives.

Results: • Lawrence Hall Youth Services was awarded the 2009 Continuous Quality Improvement (CQI) Award from United Way of Metropolitan Chicago, the second time since 2005. • Lookman, a junior at LHYS’ Therapeutic Day School, won the Chicago City Vehicle Sticker Design Contest. This year’s theme was “Burnham’s Chicago”. His design was one of 300 entries from throughout Chicago. He received a $1,000 savings bond for college. • In February 2008 we opened the doors of our new state-of-the-art Residential Treatment Center that provides highly specialized and individualized care for children and adolescents with severe emotional and behavioral challenges due to trauma, abuse and neglect. • The Council on Accreditation of Services for Families and Children reaccredited LHYS through 2011. The agency received no out of compliance ratings and was expedited through the Pre-Commission Review Report process, testimony of the excellent reputation LHYS holds in the child welfare field. • Lawrence Hall’s Therapeutic Day School (TDS) was the first school to be accredited by the North Central Association Commission on Accreditation and School Improvement. It is one of eight Cluster Providers for Chicago Public Schools, making it a preferred provider for students with emotional or behavioral disorders and learning disabilities who need special education.

Target demographics: Our children and youth, who range in age from newborn to age 21, have survived repeated traumatic experiences –physical and sexual abuse, neglect, and abandonment – from people they trusted, and lived in, on average, 12 foster homes or residential centers. Sixty-three percent have been psychiatrically hospitalized at least once, while 46% had two or more such hospitalizations. Forty percent of our youth are prescribed psychiatric medications. The youth arrive at LHYS with a profound sense of hopelessness, and often lack the motivation, self confidence or skills to successfully transition into adulthood.

Geographic areas served: We provide services to children and families throughout Cook, DuPage, Kane, Kendall, Lake, and McHenry counties. Lawrence Hall has agency sites in six Illinois Senate Districts and seven Illinois House Districts. Our children and families live in 22 state legislative districts and 8 congressional districts.

Programs: In fy14 lhys' foster care, residential treatment and older adolescent programs' continuum of care offered results-oriented treatment and therapeutic services to over 550 youth and 350 families. Youth and their families access evidence-based results-oriented treatment programs and supportive services including mental and behavioral health care, medical and wellness services, therapeutic recreation and expressive therapies (art, music, pet therapy, and horticulture) services, family therapy and case management, civic engagement and volunteerism, lgbt support services, and spiritual development. Our service model offered in a stable and caring environment, addresses trauma, promotes attachment and bonding, and supports the family connection while teaching youth the self-management skills necessary in order to live successful, independent lives. Programming was offered in residential, sst and regular group care (jarvis location).

in fy14 lhys' therapeutic day school (chicago and elgin campuses) educated nearly 100 students with emotional challenges, behavioral disorders and learning disabilities that inhibit success in their local public school settings. A rigorous curriculum aligned with the illinois common core standards, combined with the classroom community model (an evidence-based affective education program) allows students to achieve academic progress while learning the self-regulation and pro-skills they need to be successful beyond the school walls. In fy14 there was a 74% attendance rate and a 90% graduation rate. All therapeutic day school teachers hold special education certification and over 60% have a master's degree. For the fourth consecutive year the national association of special education teachers recognized lhys' therapeutic day school as a school of excellence for its exceptional dedication, commitment and achievement in the field of special education.

in fy14 the workforce development program/vocational services programming continued to grow its efforts to prepare young adults to enter the workforce, providing them with job readiness skill-building, career readiness training, job coaching, mentoring, internships and supported job placement. The mytime workforce development program piloted in fy12 with more than 60 older youth, continued into fy14 with a contract to serve 80 youth. Youth received employment assessments, career training, job coaching and mentoring, and supported job placement.

Community Stories

1 Story from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Board Member

Rating: 5

I have been involved with Lawrence Hall for over twenty years and a board member for fifteen. I have never had a bad experience with the agency. They are not only extremely well-managed, but their staff is made up of caring and compassionate individuals who go the extra mile for the children and families they serve. Children who have been at Lawrence Hall often come back to visit as adults because they felt cared for and valued there. In a very difficult economic environment for child welfare agencies, Lawrence Hall is on solid footing and continues to save and change lives, as their motto says "making a difference to last a lifetime"!