Family Focus

Family Focus Leader in family support services and early childhood development for over 40 years. Family Focus's mission--to promote the well being of children from birth by supporting and strengthening their families in and with their communities--is realized through programs in Chicago's Englewood, Lawndale and Hermosa neighborhoods, and in Aurora, Bensenville, Cicero, Evanston, and Highland Park, Illinois.

With comprehensive, community-based support services that build upon families' inherent strengths, Family Focus works to ensure that all children have the best possible start in life and that communities participate in caring for their children.

With comprehensive, community-based support services that build upon families' inherent strengths, Family Focus works to ensure that all children have the best possible start in life and that communities participate in caring for their children.

Mission: The mission of Family Focus is to promote the well-being of children from birth by supporting and strengthening their families in and with their communities.

Operating as usual

"Injustice anywhere is a threat to everywhere." - Martin Luther King, Jr. Today we honor and thank Martin Luther King, J...
01/18/2021

"Injustice anywhere is a threat to everywhere." - Martin Luther King, Jr.

Today we honor and thank Martin Luther King, Jr. for paving the way for the civil rights movement and racial justice. #MLKDay

(Picture from Family Focus Evanston's MLK Day "I have a dream" inspired speeches activity in 2018.)

Just because we've all been at home the past few months didn't mean programs stopped. In fact, we just celebrated a bran...
08/11/2020

Just because we've all been at home the past few months didn't mean programs stopped. In fact, we just celebrated a brand new graduating class from our early childhood home visiting program! These scholars from Family Focus Englewood will be moving onto preschool (in some way or another!) and celebrated with a virtual graduation ceremony. Congratulations little graduates!

Family Focus Englewood
06/26/2020

Family Focus Englewood

Join us Monday, June 29th from 1 p.m. - 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. - 5 p.m. for "How to Mental Health in 2020: COVID-19 Edition" with our Clinical Team. The webinar will be held via Go To Meeting. Please text 773-530-8472 or email [email protected] if you would like to attend to receive the link to join.

We hope to see you then!

Reminder that Family Focus Englewood is hosting this event tomorrow! Come out and get a free mask, and spread the word. ...
06/24/2020

Reminder that Family Focus Englewood is hosting this event tomorrow! Come out and get a free mask, and spread the word. See you tomorrow!

Spread the word! We'll be a distribution site on Thursday, June 25th for the "Wash and Wear Community Mask Project" in partnership with YMCA of Metro Chicago, Knowality, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois and Medline Industries, Inc..

In Illinois we are required to wear a face mask in public when social distancing is not an option. According to the CDC, face masks are also a key to stopping the spread of COVID-19. Help protect yourself and our community by stopping by our center between 12 p.m. - 2 p.m. next Thursday (the 25th) to get a reusable face mask for free.

See you then!

A message from our Interim President and CEO, Caterina Varvaro: As part of our community, I felt it was important to sha...
06/19/2020

A message from our Interim President and CEO, Caterina Varvaro:

As part of our community, I felt it was important to share that we have closed Family Focus for today in celebration of Juneteenth.

For those who are not familiar with this momentous occasion in our country’s history, Juneteenth, also known as Freedom Day or Emancipation Day, is celebrated annually on the anniversary of June 19, 1865, when Union Army General, Gordan Granger, read aloud a federal proclamation that declared all enslaved people in Texas to be free. This “Day of Jubilee” has often been referred to as the 4th of July for Black people in the United States, as it was a final pronouncement of what the Emancipation Declaration had officially declared on January 1, 1865.

In our recent statement regarding the death of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery, we spoke of our commitment to our community members and taking steps to promote policies that will combat the systemic racism that exists in our country. We promise those were not just words.
Family Focus serves individuals and families of many different races and cultures. As stated in our Principles of Family Support, the work we do is rooted in relationships based on respect and equality. To quote directly, Principle 6 states “We advocate with families for services and systems that are fair, responsive, and accountable to the families we serve.”

Today we’ve encouraged our staff to use this day to reflect on how they can affect change, educate themselves on Black history, and take action to contribute to the anti-racism conversation. Everything we do is rooted in the belief that strong families make strong communities. But strong families are made up of strong individuals, and the more we educate and advocate the closer we will get to society based on equity and justice.

Thank you,
Caterina

This is wonderful news, and a large sigh of relief for nearly 800,000 young people brought to this country as children! ...
06/18/2020
Supreme Court rules Trump cannot end DACA in big win for ‘Dreamer’ legal immigrants

This is wonderful news, and a large sigh of relief for nearly 800,000 young people brought to this country as children! DACA recipients are students, workers, friends and community members who grew up here in the United States. We're very thankful for the Supreme Court ruling today to uphold DACA.

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled Thursday that the Trump administration cannot carry out its plan to shut down the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which has allowed nearly 800,000 young people, known as "Dreamers," to avoid deportation and remain in the U.S.

In case you missed it, our Interim President and CEO, Caterina Varvaro, shared Family Focus' response to the murder of G...
06/15/2020
Family Focus' Statement in Response to the Murder of George Floyd - Family Focus

In case you missed it, our Interim President and CEO, Caterina Varvaro, shared Family Focus' response to the murder of George Floyd, and the events that have happened in the aftermath:

"As we face tremendous grief in response to the murder of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and countless other black lives, many in our communities are experiencing deep despair and turmoil. We can’t even begin to express the shock and disbelief over the death of a fellow community member killed in broad daylight by the police officers who kneeled on his neck for almost nine minutes. Many of us don’t know what to say right now – or are afraid of saying the wrong thing when comfort and leadership is needed most. We are sending this message to convey Family Focus’ commitment to support our community members."

Please visit our website to read the entire statement.

To our participants, staff and the communities we serve, As we face tremendous grief in response to the murder of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and countless other black lives, many in our communities are experiencing deep despair and turmoil. We can’t even begin to express the shoc...

05/21/2020
Chicago Tonight full episode: May 20, 2020

If you watched WTTW - Chicago PBS last night you may have seen a familiar face. Their story featuring Englewood and how COVID-19 has impacted the Englewood businesses and the health of residents interviewed our own Carrie Brown, Family Focus Englewood's Program and Center Director. The segment begins at about 18:23 and you'll see Carrie around the 22:30 minute mark.

https://youtu.be/flt2sO9DWPE?t=1103

Paris Schutz is one-on-one with the city’s top cop. Lawmakers are in Springfield for the first day of a special session. The dispute over General Iron. And a...

Family Focus Highland Park
05/15/2020

Family Focus Highland Park

What a wonderful day! Bags of groceries for 75 of our families all around Lake County! So grateful for partners BellaRu Catering and Our Shining Stars Foundation.

State Representative Edgar Gonzalez Jr.
05/15/2020

State Representative Edgar Gonzalez Jr.

📣 In collaboration with State Representative Elizabeth "Lisa" Hernandez my office will be participating in a free mask and food giveaway Tuesday, May 19, 10am-1:00 at the Cicero Community Park on 34th street and south Laramie (while supplies last). Thanks to our sponsors we will be handing out food, hand sanitizer, and face masks.
- - - - - - - - -
📣 En colaboración con la representante estatal Lisa Hernández, mi oficina participará en una reparticion gratuita de máscaras y comida el martes 19 de mayo, de 10 am a 1:00 pm en el Cicero Community Park en la calle 34 y el sur de la Laramie (hasta que todo este distribuido). Gracias a nuestros patrocinadores estaremos repartiendo comida, desinfectante de manos y mascarillas.

Town of Cicero
Family Focus
Associated Builders and Contractors, Inc. - Illinois Chapter
Manhattan Mechanical Services
Marquis Energy
Construction Fairness Alliance

A sweet note from Bosede, a participant at our Family Focus Evanston center:"The Parents as Teachers program has been a ...
05/14/2020

A sweet note from Bosede, a participant at our Family Focus Evanston center:

"The Parents as Teachers program has been a GODSEND to our family especially during this challenging time. The Walmart gift cards really helped us create a play/learning area for the kids in our living room, where the kids play amicably while I complete the morning chores. Afterwards the activity workbooks sheets they Ms. Whitney sends periodically has taken the guess work out of what to teach the kids once it's time for homeschool.

Thank you Team Family Focus for connecting us with different resources such as food pantry, free meals. All of your work has truly made my children and myself feel cared for and supported. Thank you soooo much!"

Thanks to emergency funding, we've been providing gift cards for groceries and other essentials for families impact by C...
05/13/2020

Thanks to emergency funding, we've been providing gift cards for groceries and other essentials for families impact by COVID-19. A family from our Family Focus Nuestra Familia center recently used a gift card to order diapers. Their daughter did a great job modeling their delivery for us 😍

From Michelle, the family's Case Specialist, "The family has been impacted by COVID and the challenges it has brought. But they are resourceful, they are optimistic, and very dearly grateful for the financial support."

Thank you to our donors and funders for allowing us to assist families in need.

"As I was dropping off Pull-Ups to the family's home, Mom and child came to the door and gave me a Mother's Day Card tha...
05/11/2020

"As I was dropping off Pull-Ups to the family's home, Mom and child came to the door and gave me a Mother's Day Card that said "Happy Mother's Day Ms. Bionca". I smiled with joy and said thank you to both Addy, and her mother Andrea.

Due to Covid-19 I was passing along construction paper and crayons to parents so they can create cards as a mother's day activity, but I was not expecting to receive one. This is why I enjoy being a Parent Educator: the ability to develop excellence in the minds and hearts of parents and children. Happy Teachers Appreciation Week. 🙂❤️"

Thank you to Bionca, Parent Educator at Family Focus Lawndale, for sharing this sweet moment with us!

Illinois Department of Employment Security - IDES
05/07/2020

Illinois Department of Employment Security - IDES

IDES will begin accepting applications for the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program beginning Monday, May 11.

Here's how to prepare:

1. Apply for regular unemployment before you apply for PUA

2. If you applied for regular unemployment and have been denied between April 1, 2019 and today, do not reapply. Go into your regular unemployment account and set up direct deposit for payment.

3. Have your 2019 tax return or proof of income ready and available

4. Be prepared to certify

5. Remember: You must submit a new application for PUA. The two systems are not transferrable.

For more information, visit ides.illinois.gov

It's #GivingTuesday!In light in of the COVID-19 pandemic, the global day of giving has moved from winter to TODAY, May 5...
05/05/2020

It's #GivingTuesday!

In light in of the COVID-19 pandemic, the global day of giving has moved from winter to TODAY, May 5th, to rally support organizations providing emergency support.

Although we're not running many of our usual programs due to the stay-at-home order, we have been working around the clock to provide help for our participants and the communities we serve. As of today, Family Focus has provided more than 2,600 gift cards for food, baby items, and other critical needs for families who have been impacted by the virus. And those numbers don't even cover what our very generous community members are providing for our participants at the center-level. The kindness of our communities has really shone bright throughout the last few weeks.

Unfortunately, the need is still growing exponentially as each day passes. Today we ask that you join us and millions of others on this day of giving and donate so we can continue to meet emergency needs of our participants.

You can make a donation online at https://bit.ly/familyfocusgivingtuesday.

Thank you again for the constant support.

Sincerely, Family Focus

Family Focus DuPage/Elgin
04/23/2020

Family Focus DuPage/Elgin

Free pizza math activity using paper plates.
What you need:
2 paper plates
Scissors ✂️
Red marker
Black marker

Teach your child to get familiar with numbers!
You can start at age 2 and above. ⭐️

April is Child Abuse Prevention Month. Know the signs and know how to report. As many as 70% of cases of child abuse or ...
04/09/2020

April is Child Abuse Prevention Month. Know the signs and know how to report. As many as 70% of cases of child abuse or neglect go unreported. Trust your instincts and make the call if you suspect something. Your report could be the catalyst that helps a child or a family in need. #childabusepreventionmonth

Welcome to the world, sweet girl!
04/07/2020

Welcome to the world, sweet girl!

Want to take the opportunity to share a photo from a birth this past weekend @ Rush Copley. This little lady made her grand entrance during this pandemic. The midwives and nurses were extremely grateful for our awesome doula, Dyana Garcia. ❤️ Dyana was so grateful to be able to be there to support this family, and the hospital staff took great care of her by providing PPE to wear while she was there.

April 11-17 is Week of the Young Child, a celebration of children and young families. Each year The National Association...
04/06/2020
WOYC Overview | NAEYC

April 11-17 is Week of the Young Child, a celebration of children and young families. Each year The National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) shares hands on and healthy activities for families to do in celebration of our youngest learners.

This year NAEYC is providing resources for us to celebrate with whatever we have. If you're looking for things to do with your little ones then check out their website for an overview of how to celebrate. And be sure to follow along because we'll be celebrating as well. If you share your activities online make sure to tag us so we can see how your family is learning!

https://www.naeyc.org/events/woyc/overview

We're incredibly sad to learn that Terry Beem, former director of Family Focus Highland Park's Parent Child Center Drop-...
03/24/2020

We're incredibly sad to learn that Terry Beem, former director of Family Focus Highland Park's Parent Child Center Drop-in Program, lost her battle with cancer and passed away yesterday.

From Bobbie Hinden, Center Director at Family Focus Highland Park:

"Terry will forever be remembered as a friend and mentor to so many parents at Family Focus Highland Park ( formerly Family Network).

She always had advice and ideas to share. Parents, children and staff…we were all so lucky to have had her for so long. Terry was our own resident early childhood expert! Always the teacher, even in her final days, Terry asked me to find two books about death that she had left at Family Focus. She wanted to share them with her grandchildren.

Terry has been missed since the day she retired a couple of years ago. We will continue to miss her in the days and years to come. Our Dual Language program, an outgrowth of the Drop-in Center, will go on in her memory."

If you'd like to leave the family a message you can do so on Terry's CaringBridge page: https://www.caringbridge.org/visit/yellowsubmarine

Family Shelter Service of Metropolitan Family Services DuPage
03/24/2020
Family Shelter Service of Metropolitan Family Services DuPage

Family Shelter Service of Metropolitan Family Services DuPage

"For people who are experiencing domestic violence, mandatory lockdowns to curb the spread of COVID-19 have trapped them in their homes with their abusers, isolated from the people and the resources that could help them." Our 24/7 hotline is open for anyone who feels unsafe in a relationship. (630) 469-5650.

Family Focus has been monitoring the global coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and has made the difficult decision to close...
03/18/2020
Emergency Preparedness Response - Family Focus

Family Focus has been monitoring the global coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and has made the difficult decision to close our centers and offices until further notice. Staff will work remotely and stay in contact with our participants throughout this disruption.

For more information please refer to our website: http://www.family-focus.org/emergency-preparedness-response/

UPDATE: As of 3/17/2020 our centers and offices are operating remotely. Safety of our staff and our participants are our highest priority. Our offices are closed until further notice. Please read our statement here on how we are operating during the pandemic.

Family Focus Lawndale
03/11/2020

Family Focus Lawndale

Save the date! We hope to see you at our Community Resource Fair on Thursday, April 9th from 12:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. at Homan Square.

Take a look at this amazing story about just one of our early childhood programs at Family Focus Lawndale. Aja Beckam fr...
02/04/2020
Family Focus Lawndale Creates Holistic Space For Child Development — Free Spirit Media

Take a look at this amazing story about just one of our early childhood programs at Family Focus Lawndale. Aja Beckam from Free Spirit Media captured the heart behind the work our staff does in the Parents as Teachers program.

"Family Focus helps close the learning gap in low income homes before it even starts by encouraging consistent cognitive development of young children outside of daycare."

Read the article and listen to the recordings from a PAT meeting in Aja's article:

Family Focus helps close the learning gap in low income homes before it even starts by encouraging consistent cognitive development of young children outside of daycare.

CommunityHealth
01/30/2020

CommunityHealth

Census Day will be here before you know it. Share this information with anyone who needs it! Thanks, Family Focus, for the information.

Address

310 S Peoria St Ste 301
Chicago, IL
60607

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Who We Are

Founded in 1976 by Bernice Weissbourd, a leading scholar and educator in child development, the organization has grown from a single site to seven direct service centers in the city of Chicago and the greater suburbs. What started as a drop in center for parents to find support with other parents has blossomed into many early childhood, youth and family support services all centered around the mission of strengthening families will nurture the child.

Family Focus continues to engage, educate and empower families to be the teachers and advocates of their children’s healthy development. Our program centers in Aurora, DuPage, Englewood, Evanston, Highland Park, Hermosa/Cicero, and Lawndale reached over 17,000 individuals last year.

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I'd like to share a rather unusual, free, aces prevention resource...parenting tips bumper stickers. Advancing Parenting, a Camarillo CA nonprofit organization, produces parenting tips bumper stickers and makes them available at no cost to schools, organizations, agencies, clinics, businesses, and individuals. There are fifty-one in a set and each bumper sticker communicates a parenting behavior or practice generally recognized as supporting the healthy development of children. Just one will be read thousands of times! Bumper stickers are a unique and powerful way to educate everyone about parenting. At stoplights drivers and passengers point, smile, and nod. Conversations start up and often a phone is used to take a pic of the sticker right at the stoplight. Presumably, they are being shared on social media. It's wonderful to see! Sets of the stickers can be put in holders and placed on counters and tables so folks can select one or more for their cars. Visit www.advancingparenting.org to order this free resource. Use a computer...our website is not optimized for phones. Please share.
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March Team GPS starts Sunday, March 3rd - register now: https://www.teamgps.org/programs/team-gps/ March featured sports: Cheerleading, Gymnastics and Poms and March discussion topic: Body Image Each month girls learn two different sports and participate in discussions on topics that impact girls. Sign up for one month, a couple or all! Team GPS is held once a week 4:00pm - 6:00pm at Evanston Township High School. FINANCIAL AID IS AVAILABLE Select ‘YES’ for a 100% scholarship on the registration form. #GirlsPlaySports #TeamGPS
Want to get your 5th grade girls off the couch on Monday and into the gym being introduced to 3 sports of her choice? Register her now for the FREE GPS Festival (sponsored by the Kiwanis Club of Evanston) on Monday @ ETHS from 8:30am - 12:00pm. Last year over 100 girls participated! During this FREE event, girls are introduced to the fundamentals of three sports of their choice (one from each season) through fun skills, drills, and games led by ETHS female high school athletes and coaches. REGISTER HERE: https://www.teamgps.org/programs/sports-festival/ #GPSFestival #GirlsPlaySports
The weather is great and once again we are at the Farmers Market. We've got some awesome handcrafted chocolate chip cookies, bread budding and candle holders made from driftwood. Of course we made it all. We, the fabulous students at Family Focus invite you to join us. Location: Corner of Ridge Ave & South Blvd
How we get down @ Family Focus Evanston, The Farmers Market. We invite you to visit our YouTube page, Family Focus Evanston
Evento especial este Miércoles a las 10am ayudanos en dejar saber la gente hacia el Evento. Estas interesado en entrar en fabricación, vives en los suburbios del Condado de Cook, eres de las edades de 16-24, y están fuera de la escuela*(No volver o Ya se ha graduado y no tiene un siguiente paso adelante). Este programa Opportunities Works puede ser para usted si es elegible recive 10 semanas de oportunidad PAGADAS de trabajo y programa de capacitación o opciones de formación. Llame ahora 708-222-3100 con Takeisha o Keri
Please Share Special Event this Wednesday at 10am help get the word out. If you are you a interested or know someone that is interested in getting into manufacturing, live in the suburbs of Cook County, are between the ages of 16-24, and are out of school* (Not going back or Graduated HS and does not have a next step lined up). Come in and check out this new Opportunities Works PAID Job program you might be eligible for 10 week work opportunity and skills training program with job placement or training options. Call Now 708-222-3100 ask for Takeisha or Keri