Hephzibah was founded in 1897 (one of Oak Park's oldest charities) by Mary Wessles who took two boys after a fire in an orphanage and found this to be her calling. Hephzibah means comforting mother and was Mary's grandmothers name. Hephzibah has adapted throughout the years and shifted through the times but we currently have three program. These programs are our day care, family based services and group homes Our after school day care program is located at all eight public elementary schools in Oak Park. We serve over 450 students in the community based on a sliding fee scale (those who are lower income pay what they can). Under this umbrella is our head start program. Head Start is pre-school for kids ages 3-5 who live in the community in which many are low income. Family based services: we recruit train and certified foster parents and have over 100 students in our foster families. We provide therapies for these students, assist with adoptions as well as provide respite care for these families. We also provide intact families services which means when there is a report of abuse or neglect to the state, they investigate and determine that instead of removing the children from the home, it is better to provide wrap around services to keep them intact. 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. Group Homes: Our group homes houses 26 students between the ages of 3-12 who have been taken away from their families for abuse and neglect. A typical child admitted to our group homes has experienced heartbreaking emotional and physical traumas, numerous failed foster care placements or the devastating disappointment of a failed adoption. We have two different program in our group home, our short term Diagnostic Treatment Center and our long term Residence program. Our Diagnostic Treatment Center or DTC, is where 16 children live. We have a 90-120 day assessment period figuring out which medications they need to be on, what school they need to be in and what skills they need to work on to be successful in a family setting. Because Hephzibah is one of the few group homes in the state that accepts children transitioning from inpatient psychiatric treatment, approximately 80 percent the children we serve enter the Diagnostic Treatment Center after stays in pediatric psychiatric hospitals. These children come from all over Illinois - and many have nowhere else to turn. After an initial period of stabilization, our social workers conduct comprehensive diagnostic evaluations to determine the therapeutic supports that should be put in place to help each child heal physically, emotionally and psychologically; the future placements that will best meet their needs; and the support services that will help ensure their long-term success. After their stay at the Diagnostic Treatment Center, many move on to less restrictive placements with biological or foster families and some move up to our Residence program. Our Residence program is where 10 kids live and the average length of stay is usually 1-2 years. In this program, the students receive intensive therapeutic supports they need to complete the healing process and develop the skills they need to succeed in a family setting. From this program, students move to foster families, pre-adoptive homes, back to their family members if its deemed fit or to other residential facilities better fit towards their needs. If you want any other information, our website is a good place to look: http://www.hephzibahhome.org/what-we-do/ . Thanks!