October 2015 News & Updates
Residential Program for Youth Moving to Morton
The Center for Youth and Family Solutions (CYFS) Guardian Angel Home Residential Facility for Youth will soon be relocating from its current location in West Peoria, to a new home in Morton. This move will allow us to modernize our facility to best suit the needs of the youth living at Guardian Angel Home. The new 9,400 sq. foot building is located at 260 E. Queenwood in Morton, and sits on over four acres on the edge of town Renovations to the new building are slated to begin in November, and upon completion in the spring of 2016, the new building will feature excellent program areas, office space, youth room arrangements, and grounds for the program, families, staff, and our young men. The boys will continue in District 150 schools for the remainder of the school year and will attend Morton Community Schools in the 2016-2017 school year.
Guardian Angel Home serves youth ages 6-18 with special needs who require -support and treatment due to past abuse and neglect and traumatic family situations. The goal of the program is to build confidence, self-esteem, and coping behaviors to help the boys function productively in family, school, and community so they can develop into healthy and secure adults. We provide a safe therapeutic environment to facilitate enhanced functioning of youth in their families and community, to intervene in the cycle of abuse and neglect, and to promote the long term emotional, spiritual, and social well-being of the boys placed at Guardian Angel.
“We are excited to be able to offer this new home for our boys, and are looking forward to becoming a part of the Morton Community,” said CYFS Chief Operating Officer Tony Riordan. “We have been in close contact with the Morton School District, as well as city officials as we begin the transition, and we are confident that this this move will be beneficial to the boys in our program.”
Questions regarding the relocation and program may be directed to Tony Riordan at 309-323-6607 or gro.snoitulosfyc@nadroirt.
CYFS Volunteer Wins Service Award
New Day Senior Services Friendly Visitor volunteer Rosemarie Dentino was recently presented with the Central Illinois Agency on Aging’s “Because We Care” Senior Volunteer Award. Seniors Program Manager Ruth Urbanc and Volunteer Coordinator Sue Hirschman nominated Dentino for her dedication to selflessly serving seniors in Central Illinois throughout the past 35 years The award is given to an individual 60 years and older residing within the 6-county services area of Fulton, Marshall, Peoria, Stark, Tazewell, and Woodford Counties, who exemplifies the human service philosophy of the Central IL Agency on agency, and has contributes to the senior community by giving their time and talent as a volunteer.
“We were proud to nominate Rosemarie for commitment to our program and her belief in fulfilling our mission,” says Urbanc. “She is an exemplary volunteer, who makes a big difference in the lives of the seniors she works with, because she cares,” added Urbanc. Dentino received her award at the Central IL Agency on Aging’s annual meeting and awards luncheon held in September. For more information on the Friendly Visitor Program or other volunteer opportunities with CYFS, please contact Sue Hirschman at 309-323-6632.
Special Care and Concern Helps Foster Child Flourish
Emma came into care at just three-years-old. Her parents were unable to provide a safe home for her, and she was removed from the home for both environmental neglect, as well as domestic violence. Because of severe allergies, both food and environmental, Emma was considered medically complex, and needed constant monitoring to ensure her health. She was placed with relatives, but with such significant medical issues to attend to, the relatives were unable to care for her, and she was moved to a foster home with a family who could address her needs The foster parents, Sarah and John, had two grown children of their own, and had become foster parents with the hopes of providing a safe home and sense of family to kids who needed it. Sarah and John understood the severity of Emma’s condition, and took the proper precautions to avoid her allergens. One of the ways they were able to monitor her food intake was by preparing all of her meals from scratch, including using fruits and vegetables grown in their own garden. As she got older, and with a strictly followed diet, Emma began to grow out of many of her allergies and continued to thrive in her foster home. She worked with a therapist to address some of her behaviors and worked hard to do well in school. She also began participating in 4H, church camp, and raising animals on the family farm.
When Sarah and John learned that Emma would not be returning home, they started the adoption process to become her forever family and the adoption was finalized over the summer, just after Emma’s 10th birthday.
Both foster care and adoption staff who worked with the family refer to John and Sarah as one of the most selfless, caring, and wonderful foster families they’ve worked with. “The family’s garden and emphasis on an active, healthy lifestyle has contributed to Emma’s overall health,” said CYFS Family Worker Courtney K. “She is getting the nutrition she needs and enjoying the outdoors, and that’s really helping her to flourish in this family.”
RSVP Holds Open House
On Thursday, October 22, the Retired and Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) of Peoria and Tazewell Counties hosted an open house to celebrate the return of the program to the area, and to recruit new members and volunteers. RSVP advisory board members and several current members of the volunteer-based program attended to show their support of the program, which has been operating at CYFS since July. The Peoria Chamber of Commerce was on hand to hold the ribbon cutting to officially welcome the program back to the community. “We were encouraged by the great turnout, and want thank everyone, including the Chamber Members for attending,” said Jeff Turnbull RSVP Project Director. “The open house was an opportunity for us to recognize the program and those involved, and we’re pleased to have added five new stations, and several new volunteers to the roster.”
For more information on RSVP, please visit the RSVP webpage or contact us at gro.snoitulosfyc@pvsr
CYFS Receives Accreditation
After months of preparation and a week of review by Council on Accreditation evaluators, CYFS received notification that we have been re-accredited! The process looked at the program and operational policies and procedures being followed by the agency and interviewed staff, clients, our Board, and other stakeholders. Upon review, the Council made a determination that we were in compliance with all of the fundamental practice standards. CYFS Executive Director Trish Fox said, “This is a tremendous testimony to our staff’s hard work and their dedication to our clients and outcomes that change lives. We are certainly pleased to have scored this well and thank our Board and other stakeholders for their ongoing support.” This accreditation will remain in effect until December 2019.