About UsOur History

Since 1973, Kaleidoscope’s goal has been to keep children safe within a home environment, in a community setting. Our innovative programs equip children to overcome trauma and live safe, productive and happy lives.

Children in our community face serious challenges. There are nearly 15,000 kids in the care of the state due to abuse and neglect. Many of these children suffer from severe emotional trauma and medically-complex conditions as a result of exposure to substance abuse, physical abuse, sexual abuse and neglect.

Before our opening in 1973, kids who had experienced complex traumas and had these emotional, behavioral and mental health challenges were often sent to locked facilities in other states. These programs were largely ineffective and risked additional trauma for the children they intended to help. Seeing these initiatives and institutions fail our children, Kaleidoscope’s founders developed a new, nurturing system of care.

Now, Illinois Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) refers families to Kaleidoscope after they have been indicated for abuse or neglect. We keep children and youth in home environments – with their biological, foster or adoptive families – and provide assessment, case management, clinical intervention, independent living preparation and more. Through our innovative programs and services, we ensure children’s safety and help them overcome trauma while surrounded by adults who can support them and meet their needs.

We know that trauma has a direct impact on children’s brain development and ability to live in the world, and we strive to create a stable support system to help them overcome these obstacles. By keeping children in a safe, caring home, they stay close to their support networks, are better able to heal and are more likely to achieve their goals for the future.

Today, we provide numerous programs to meet the needs of Chicago’s most vulnerable youth, serving nearly 600 families annually. We pride ourselves on going above and beyond DCFS’s standards for staff-to-family ratios. We have some of the most rigorous staff training in the state, and we are committed to being a best practices agency.

We believe that relationships, and families in particular, are the best way for children to heal from trauma and grow into happy, healthy, successful adults. Through our expert programs and services, we equip the adults in a young person’s life to provide the best care possible, so that children and youth are safe, have the chance to heal, and are empowered to live successful, happy lives.