When families are healthy, children flourish. But when families begin to fracture from pressures such as joblessness, chronic illness, mental instability, homelessness or substance abuse, children are often the first to suffer.
Because every child deserves to live in a safe and nurturing environment — free from abuse and neglect — Hephzibah offers a wide range of support and intervention services for families in crisis. These include family support services, family assessment services, intact family services, and family reunification services.
Through all of these programs, Hephzibah offers help and hope for children and parents. Our Family Services are designed to preserve the dignity of families while promoting personal growth, improved social skills, effective parenting, academic achievement and individual empowerment.
Our work with families is guided by professionalism and accountability, a commitment to results and — above all — a spirit of love and optimism. Is it any wonder that Hephzibah is a model for family services nationwide?
Family Support Program
Hephzibah’s Family Support Program was established in 1987 to prevent or reduce the number of incidents of child abuse and neglect in Oak Park and River Forest. Through this program, Hephzibah provides crisis intervention services, information and referrals, coordination of service providers, consultations and assessments. Support services provided to families through this program include respite care, substance abuse assessments and referrals, homemaker services, day care, funding for family necessities in times of critical need and parent skills trainings, as well as an in–home visitor program for families with preschool children at high risk of abuse.
Family Assessment Services
Our Family Assessment Services enable Hephzibah to determine the best living situation for a child who has been neglected or abused. To complete the assessment, a social worker analyzes how the child’s family functions and determines if, and to what degree, a parent’s behavior might change with the appropriate training, counseling and education services. The assessment is then used to determine the best permanent placement for the child. Our Family Assessment Services also include Independent Clinical Assessments. These 90-day, in-home permanency assessments enable Hephzibah to provide comprehensive recommendations regarding the capacity of the foster parent(s) to provide the care and permanency necessary for a child or children in their home.
Intact Family Services
Sometimes, keeping a family together is the best way to help a child. When this is the case, Hephzibah provides a broad spectrum of Intact Family Services that are designed to help families in crisis as an alternative to removing the child from the home. These services include assistance with issues such as family stress, discipline problems, inadequate housing or homelessness, substance abuse, parenting skills, domestic skills, mental illness and medical care.
Family Reunification Services
When it is in a child’s best interests to return home, Hephzibah provides intensive assistance for parents to help them resolve the issues that led to the removal of a child, or children, from their home. Our Family Reunification Services are for parents who wish to regain custody of their children. Services offered to parents may include counseling; substance abuse programs; parenting classes; a homemaker program that helps parents develop skills in household budgeting, organization and structure; and other services that parents need in order to form a successful family unit.