Guardian Angel Home ensures that the children in our care are provided with a home-like environment to facilitate their security, support, development and treatment.
Each young person has a story that is unique and often heart breaking. We strive to instill hope, confidence, self esteem and coping behaviors for these young men to function productively within their family, school and community so that they can develop into healthy and secure adults.
The institution is divided into two separate living units of eight boys each – one for younger boys and one for older boys. The younger boys’ unit is Gill Hall, and the older boys’ unit is Edwards Hall. Clients are divided on the basis of age and social and emotional levels. This allows us to have one hall for younger boys, ages 6-11, and an older boys’ hall, for ages 12-18.
Each hall has a separate living room and dining area. These are used for family-like activities, like TV and video watching in the living room, and doing homework at the dining table.
Their rooms have a typical bedroom setup, including a bed and dressers. The social area includes comfortable furniture, and a wide-screen television with a DVD player and cable access. The clients eat together in a cafeteria with a set menu guided by a nutrition counselor. The residents have daily recreational activities in the living units and on the grounds. They also have planned structured activities, including field trips, sports, fishing and movies in the community. Many of the older boys play in the summer recreational baseball leagues. Younger boys regularly participate in the park district’s “Biddy-Boys” basketball. Many of our boys attend local church services on a regular basis. The boys also take special field trips to amusement and water parks, professional and semi-professional sporting events, and horseback riding, thanks to generous donor support.
The group living experience is structured, and designed for staff interactions which are individualized for each client’s needs in order to build a healthy therapeutic relationship which encourages the client to begin to manage and change their behaviors.
The emphasis in the living units is on safety first. Their safety is the basis for a secure, therapeutic environment for abused children. It allows them to begin to thrive and grow. Safety is the number one imperative to ensure a clinical dynamic that allows the children to begin learning to trust adults, to explore their trauma and to reintegrate their social development.
Almost all of our clients have experienced some type of severe trauma, including: sexual abuse; physical abuse; neglect; witnessing domestic violence; and significant losses in their life. Many of the young men have symptoms of Attention Deficit Disorder, Asperger’s Syndrome and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, as well as major depressive, mood, and anxiety disorders. Staff are specially trained to manage the symptoms and behaviors associated with these diagnoses in a safe and best practice manner per strict treatment standards.
Each child has an individualized treatment plan addressing their specific emotional, behavioral, mental health and trauma recovery issues. This plan consists of a specialized approach of case work services, mentoring, individual and group therapy and family therapy services where appropriate, as well as other needed specialized psychiatric and medical services.
Guardian Angel Home supports regular visits and therapy with family or relative members of the clients and will facilitate these meetings according to the individualized treatment plan.