July 1, 2017 to June 30, 2018
2018 marked our 45th anniversary serving children, youth and families in Chicago. Throughout the year, we reflected on our history and the strong foundations of our services, which enabled us to continue moving forward – pushing expectations, programs and outcomes to be the best.
Our most notable move was a physical one; we relocated to the Near West Side in February. Our new home offers youth-friendly, trauma-informed workspaces, therapy offices, meeting rooms and more where we can best serve our children, families and staff. Our building is owned by and home to the Chicago Teachers’ Union, further connecting us with fellow professionals who serve our city’s families.
From our new home, we’ve taken our programs forward:
- We launched a caregiver support program for our Intensive Placement Stabilization (IPS) families, offering space and structure for parents and other caregivers to connect and learn from each other.
- We have a new art studio, where we continue to see the incredible impact that art has on our kids, giving them new ways to express themselves, practice calming techniques and simply have fun.
- I worked closely with the DCFS Director and other child welfare experts to identify gaps, needs and risks so we can improve statewide services for children under age 3.
Highlights from Our Programs
In our 2018 fiscal year, we served 679 children, youth and young adults across our programs.
Better Collaboration to Serve Children
This year, we became the first private agency to work with DCFS on its enhanced workflow and renewed focus on protecting children from birth to age 3 who are at high risk of serious harm from abuse and neglect.
Now, Kaleidoscope’s Intact teams have a more complete picture of a family’s risks and needs. Our staff work with families to develop a service plan that reduces their barriers to accessing services, meets their basic needs and connects them with vital services, including substance abuse treatment, domestic violence counseling and advocacy in school systems.
“We think, ‘How can you think about substance abuse treatment when you don’t have diapers?’” Kathy Daniher, our director of Intact Family Services said. “But we’ve always asked that.
New Spaces to Serve Families
Our new space is brighter, more colorful and overall more inviting for our staff, youth and families. With a beautiful view of downtown Chicago, Kaleidoscope’s new home boasts spacious work and lunch spaces for staff, three family-friendly therapy rooms, and an art studio filled with supplies for youth to use whenever they visit our office. The office is also decorated with art made by our youth, as a daily reminder of who we’re here to serve. Our location on the Near West Side has also enabled us to develop new partnerships with neighbors like Metric Coffee and the Chicago Teachers Union.
Therapy for Children with Autism
This year, we sought and received funding Help For Children foundation to contract with two specially-trained therapists to provide in-home, relationship-based therapy for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder. For Thomas and his mom, Anita, this therapy has been life-changing.
Previous annual reports
Find more information about Kaleidoscope’s Financials here.