Author Topic: Suicide at ChildServ  (Read 6531 times)

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Offline Oscar

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Suicide at ChildServ
« on: January 06, 2012, 08:32:44 AM »
Victim list will be updated.

Girl’s Suicide Raises Question About Home For Troubled Youth
CBS Chicago, November 30, 2011

NAPERVILLE, Ill. (CBS) – A teenage girl who took her life on railroad tracks in Naperville last month was a resident of a home that is supposed to protect some of the state’s most vulnerable young people.

CBS 2?s Dave Savini investigated allegations the home was out of control.

ChildServ in Naperville is where 15-year-old Caitlin Lee lived until she took her own life on nearby railroad tracks.

Her mother, Mary Lee, blames the system and the home that was supposed to take care of her troubled daughter, who was a danger to herself and became a ward of the state.

“I just remember screaming out, ‘I told you this was going to happen,’” Mary Lee said about her daughter, who reportedly was not doing well at ChildServ.

During her three-month stay at ChildServ, Lee ran away 17 times. In fact, in the nine days leading up to her death, she ran away six times.

Caitlin’s grandfather, Patrick Ward – a former elected state’s attorney in Lee County – says Caitlin was doing better at a different facility and she should not have been moved to ChildServ.

“She was my girl. She shouldn’t have been released from the only place she was safe,” said Ward. “And we tried and we yelled and we screamed and we begged.”

CBS 2?s investigation uncovered police records showing Naperville police were called to the home 625 times in just two years.

Naperville Police Chief David Dial says the 911 calls doubled in the last two years. The calls included fights, suicide threats, even one for sexual assault; but the vast majority were for runaways like Caitlin.

“I cannot explain why this is permitted to go on by DCFS,” said Dial. “She should have never been in a setting like a group home.”

On the night of her suicide, Lee even made threats to hurt herself after an earlier altercation with another girl in the home. Police say they did not get a call about the earlier altercation, but instead were called after the suicide threats and after she ran away.

“I think we should have been called,” Dial said.

ChildServ also has homes in Downers Grove and Lisle. Police were called to those homes, combined, more than 500 times in the past two years.

The head of ChildServ chose not to comment.

A DCFS official said the performance of these three group homes is not acceptable and the homes are under a quality improvement plan to address problems including how to better handle runaway behavior.

--Comments made on webpage below--

the truth hurts
the responsibilty of this childs death should be divvied up equally. Who’s fault – parents, child, and state. Lets not put all the blame on the state. The child was a ward of the state for a reason. The parents obviously couldn’t control this “troubled” (out of control) youth. The parents failed and passed to state, understandably, the state failed so now the state is 100% at fault? Also, for Chief Dial to incenuate they could have changed the outcome of this case is far fetched. If she was determined to kill herself, she would and could and did. Sad story, but doesn’t seem as though this was going to be prevented. It was inevitable with her track record of threats.
December 1, 2011 at 8:19 am

There is always more to the story
Before we pass judgement, know that the family turned to the state for help to keep her safe because she could not be safe in the home. Many children have issues that require professional help they would not receive if the state does not intervene. Mental health issues are not easy to manage for anyone including the person suffering. The facilities are designed to be therapeutic and many of them are and assit the children with the skills they need to cope and deal with their issues. This situaton was not handled appropriately by the facility based on what the facility claimed they could do for this child. Many times children are suicidal because of a variety of different reasons and sometimes it really has nothing to to with what the family did or didn’t do. It takes a great deal of strengthfor a parent to admit they cannot be and do everything for their child. It is very possible if this child was left in the placement where she was safe, she could have received the help she needed and suicide would not have seemed like the best option. This is not about blame. This is a matter of having qualified people to provide the services the facility claims they can provide to the people they serve.
December 1, 2011 at 9:15 pm

lynn
Very well said. Agree completely.
December 5, 2011 at 7:24 pm

suzzy smith
Wow! This is very sad and traggic. I do not think this it is fair to put blame on just the state or the home. I guess the “former state’s attorney” could not care for her either as she was not placed with him? Mary says it all by saying she was put in state care becaue she was a danger to herself. Maybe CBS should have spend a couple of days in Caitlin’s hometown and they would have discovered more background about her. How about if the family who created her problems then could not control her? After the fact of something traggic now the family puts blame on the people who were supposed to “fix” what they created. How long had she been running? What were these dangers to herself that brought her into care? If she was so safe at another facility then why was she moved? Even better yet if she was not having anymore dangerous behaviors then why was she not returned home? It is hard when something traggic happens like this and emotions run high. I think the family should look at what part they had in this before they put the whole blame on someone else.
December 2, 2011 at 9:24 pm

Stacey
She was in a 24/7 monitored facility with around the clock care. SO WHY THE HELL DID THEY MOVE HER TO A GROUP HOME???!!!!
December 6, 2011 at 12:40 am
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »

Offline cmack

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Re: Suicide at ChildServ
« Reply #1 on: January 06, 2012, 07:46:39 PM »
Quote
...police records showing Naperville police were called to the home 625 times in just two years.

Nah, No problems there.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »

Offline Ursus

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Re: Girl's Suicide Raises Question About Home For...
« Reply #2 on: January 08, 2012, 10:56:22 AM »
Pic from the article in the OP:



    Caitlin Lee, 15, killed herself in October 2011, when she ran away from the group home where she lived in Naperville, following a number of suicide threats. Her family believes the state should not have put her in a group home, but kept her at a different facility where she was doing well. (Family Photo)

    ©2012 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc.[/list]
    « Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »
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    Offline Ursus

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    Welcome to ChildServ
    « Reply #3 on: January 08, 2012, 11:01:23 AM »
    From the program's website, emphasis as per the original:

    -------------- • -------------- • --------------

    Helping Chicagoland's At-Risk Children and Their Families Build, Achieve, and Sustain better Lives.

    Welcome to ChildServ

    ChildServ is a highly experienced multidisciplinary child and family services network that reaches children and families facing adversity in the Illinois counties of Cook, Lake and DuPage. We focus on providing in-depth community-based programs to underserved children and their families, foster parents or other caregivers.

    Comprehensive, individually tailored programs deliver immediate intervention, protection or shelter when needed, and provide longer-term guidance and support to help children grow into healthy and thriving adults. Founded in 1894, the organization continues to work with families, communities and legislators on child advocacy issues. ChildServ helps bring about change that helps children to build, achieve and sustain better lives.

    SERVICE TO THE COMMUNITY

    • ChildServ programs and services reach 3,100 children and families each year.
    • ChildServ's wide range of programs includes foster care and adoption, group homes, child care, early childhood education, and parenting support enhanced by healthy lifestyle information and college / career readiness support
    • ChildServ's GrandFamily Support program serves 265 grandparents and 506 children.

    Our Mission - "To Help Chicagoland's At-Risk Children and Their Families Build, Achieve and Sustain Better Lives."

    We believe strong families and communities are keys to a child's success in life. Our mission shall be accomplished by providing leadership and programming that will...

    • Educate children, families and communities to overcome the challenges encountered by children and youth
    • Prevent conditions in which children, youth, and families are placed at-risk
    • Intervene early in crisis situations by providing children with a path to a nurturing, permanent home
    • Advocate on behalf of children and families with elected representatives and the general public on issues that affect the stability of children and their families

    We are proud to be an organization with a long term vision for children. ChildServ's success stems from its capacity to deliver effective innovative services to children.


    © 2011 ChildServ.org.
    8765 W. Higgins Road, Suite 450, Chicago, IL 60631
    « Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »
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    Offline Ursus

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    ChildServ, Chicagoland's Child and Family Service Provider
    « Reply #4 on: January 08, 2012, 11:17:38 AM »
    This organization appears to have ties to the United Methodist Church. How close those ties do bind, or not, is unclear.

    Their 'About Us' page:

    -------------- • -------------- • --------------

    Helping Chicagoland's At-Risk Children and Their Families Build, Achieve, and Sustain better Lives.

    A ChildServ, Chicagoland's Child and Family Service Provider

    ChildServ is a child and family services organization, providing community-based programs to underserved children and families in the Illinois counties of Cook, Lake and DuPage. Our services range from family support groups to children's group homes in Lisle, Naperville and Downers Grove. ChildServ serves the children and families in our community through a comprehensive, tailored service program that goes well above and beyond merely providing shelter.

    ChildServ recognizes that the strength of our organization lies in our commitment to community and the preservation of family. Our homes and services represent more than just a warm bed. In addition to shelter in a therapeutic group home setting, ChildServ provides children and families with:

    • Counseling
    • Group Therapy
    • Life skills education
    • Social activities and recreation

    We welcome you to learn more about ChildServ's child welfare family resources by browsing the menu along the left-hand side of the page or exploring more about us on our News page. To donate or volunteer, or for general information about foster child care or services at our family service center, you may contact us via phone at (773) 693-0300 or email [email protected].

    Check out ChildServ on YouTube!  

    Our 2011 Annual Report is here!


    © 2011 ChildServ.org.
    8765 W. Higgins Road, Suite 450, Chicago, IL 60631
    « Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »
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    Offline Ursus

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    ChildServ - Faith Communities
    « Reply #5 on: January 08, 2012, 09:10:47 PM »
    More from ChildServ's website:

    -------------- • -------------- • --------------

    Faith Communities

    1 John 3:18
    "Let us love, not in word or speech, but in truth and action." NRSV


    ChildServ's history is rich with the involvement of many church congregations. Methodist Deaconesses founded the agency over 100 years ago, and churches continue to support ChildServ's families and programs through prayers, gifts and volunteer service. Congregations recognize that collaborating with ChildServ is one of the ways faithful people can fulfill their desire to care.

    ChildServ's programs bring hope to under-resourced communities, but the issues that confront our families continue to grow. Now, more than ever, faithful people are called to focus on the needs of children, youth and their families. Join our work and, together, we can in a mutual ministry of care, nurture and service with children, youth and families.

    How Your Congregation Can Get Involved

    ChildServ gives thanks for the many ways that churches support our programs in Cook, DuPage and Lake Counties. We look forward to new opportunities to work with people of faith to support positive growth and development of children, youth, families and communities.

    There are many opportunities for your congregation:

    • Give to ChildServ through your mission budget, Fifth Sunday Appeal, Rainbow Covenant, or Special Collection
    • Recruit individual volunteers to become mentors, tutors or child care assistants (click here to go to the volunteer page)
    • Sponsor group projects, such as field trips, holiday parties or site improvement work
    • Host a baby shower, a linen shower or a housewarming party for a teen mom or a group home resident
    • Collect school supplies and backpacks in time for the start of school
    • Give new toys, dolls or games through our annual holiday gift-giving project
    • Donate children’s books and other early literacy materials
    • Join with ChildServ to educate legislators and policy makers on issues related to children and youth in Illinois.

    ChildServ can support your mission endeavors by providing:

    • Speakers for Sunday worship services
    • Programs on pertinent topics for women's programs, men's breakfasts, Lenten spiritual growth series
    • Agency display with staff for mission fairs or other special events
    • Technical assistance on setting up a child advocacy initiative
    • Workshops on critical child-and-family issues with mission committees, youth groups, parent support groups

    CLICK HERE to view ChildServ's Grow A Miracle Catalogue.

    To connect your congregation with ChildServ,

    Contact
    Michael Adams,
    Director of Church Relations
    Phone: (773) 693-0300 FAX: (773) 693-0322

    Email: [email protected].

    Jesus said, "Whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me."Matthew 18:5 NRSV


    © 2011 ChildServ.org.
    8765 W. Higgins Road, Suite 450, Chicago, IL 60631
    « Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »
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    Offline Ursus

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    ChildServ on ZoomInfo
    « Reply #6 on: January 08, 2012, 09:27:06 PM »
    Here's the company description from ZoomInfo. Apparently some of these details are no longer mentioned on ChildServ's website:

    -------------- • -------------- • --------------

    ChildServ
    8765 W. Higgins Road Suite 450
    Chicago, Illinois 60631
    United States
    (773) 693-0300
    (773) 693-0322 Fax
    http://www.childserv.org

    Company Background & Description

    Employees: 250 - 500

    Industry: Charitable Organizations & Foundations , Organizations

    Company Description: ChildServ was originally established as the Methodist Deaconess Orphanagein 1894, when two Methodist deaconesses took in seven homeless children from Chicago. The children lived in a church tent on the Methodist Campground for the summer of 1894; the program was so successful, they acquired the property in 1895. The Agency was renamed the Lake Bluff/Chicago Homes for Children and later became ChildServ. Since our founding in 1894, ChildServ has played a key role in Chicagoland's child welfare services. Today, ChildServ annually provides care and nurturing to nearly 3,800 children and their families across Cook, Lake and DuPage counties.

    People · All 36 people verified

    Management Level
      C-Level (4)
      VP-Level (8)
      Director (9)
      Manager (4)
      Non-Manager (2)
    Job Function
      Engineering & Technical (1)
      Finance (2)
      Human Resources (3)
      Marketing (1)
      Medical & Health (1)
      Operations (1)

    Related Companies

    Similar Companies
      Mercy Home
      Evangelical Child and Family Agency
      Little City Foundation
      CATHOLIC CHARITIES INC


    Copyright © 2012 Zoom Information, Inc.
    « Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »
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    Offline Ursus

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    Churches Reach Out Past Walls
    « Reply #7 on: January 10, 2012, 12:55:23 PM »
    From the above ZoomInfo entry for ChildServ, color emphasis added:

      Company Description: ChildServ was originally established as the Methodist Deaconess Orphanage in 1894, when two Methodist deaconesses took in seven homeless children from Chicago. The children lived in a church tent on the Methodist Campground for the summer of 1894; the program was so successful, they acquired the property in 1895. The Agency was renamed the Lake Bluff/Chicago Homes for Children and later became ChildServ.[/list][/size]
      This excerpt from the below following article notes the support / sponsorship of this organization by at least one local United Methodist Church, at least during the period of the mid 1980s (color emphasis added):

        ...
      [Glenview United Methodist Church] also supports the Marcy-Newberry Association, a social agency with two locations in Chicago that offers Head Start, after school and seniors programs, and the Lake Bluff/Chicago Homes for Children.[/list][/size]

      -------------- • -------------- • --------------

      Chicago Tribune
      Churches Reach Out Past Walls

      June 12, 1985 | By Jayne S. Krichbaum.

      Glenview's houses of worship are taking care of their community's spiritual, mental and physical problems and are not being timid about taking on more.

      It's not that Glenview residents generate a lot of problems, it's because Glenview churches have seen a need for help in other suburbs, parts of Chicago, even in other countries. They are lending help in many forms to some overburdened congregations and individuals.

      Many Glenview churches have "sister churches" that they help financially and with food and clothing donations. They also share liturgies. The churches also support nondenominational schools and regularly collect food and clothing for depositories. One church has taken to the radio to broadcast a thought for the day in addition to local high school basketball games. Another supports a home for elderly people; yet another is offering its church grounds to a congregation currently removing asbestos from the ceiling of its synagogue.

      Denominations in Glenview include Assembly of God, Baptist, Christian Science, Community, Episcopal, Evangelical Covenant, Evangelical Free, Greek Orthodox, Jewish, Lutheran, Lutheran Missouri Synod, Presbyterian, Roman Catholic, Swedenborgian and United Church of Christ, and the village soon will have a Mormon temple.

      To unite the churches, some Glenview pastors meet the second Monday of each month as members of the Glenview Clergy Association.

      "The group is a fellowship group. Primarily we gather together to keep open lines of communication among ourselves and therefore the churches," says Rev. Raymond Miller, head pastor of Glenview United Methodist Church and association convener.

      If a disaster were to strike, such as a fire or tornado, these group members would "certainly be in touch with each other communicating how we could best deal with that situation," he says.

      Rev. Miller says his congregation contributes food and money to the Church Federation of Greater Chicago every Sunday. The Wesley Day Care Center, serving preschool children and offering an after-school program for older children, was begun by the church and is run separately from it. "We see that as a mission to the community," he says. For more information about the day-care program, phone 729-3606.

      Rummage sales are held by the Women's Club to benefit the day-care center and other mission projects. The church also supports the Marcy-Newberry Association, a social agency with two locations in Chicago that offers Head Start, after school and seniors programs, and the Lake Bluff/Chicago Homes for Children.

      "It does seem to me that many people in the Glenview community are interested in reaching out to needs that exist," Rev. Miller says. "Perhaps the needs are not as great here as they would be in other communities. People are interested in meeting the needs and reaching out in other areas to help if they can."

      St. Catherine Laboure Catholic Church will mark its 25th anniversary Sept. 22 with Joseph Cardinal Bernardin, Catholic archbishop of Chicago. Founding pastor Rev. William J. Buckley, 74, now retired, celebrated 50 years as a priest in April. He has seen many changes in Glenview's Catholic and other churches.

      About the time Father Buckley founded St. Catherine, "Vatican II was coming in and brought many changes with it. Some we liked and some we didn't," he says.

      "I think bringing people into the picture much more closely and intimately than before has been a much better influence. It's to everyone's advantage, now that there is a much closer relationship with the churches in Glenview. There's sort of a hope and attempt to bring about a much better relationship and understanding between the priests and ministers. We've made big strides opening our doors to each other."

      Rev. Joseph E. Auer, who has served St. Catherine's for four years, says the membership is nearing 5,000. Through the church's Christian Outreach program, members collect food for St. Roman Catholic Church in Chicago.

      Through the outreach program, "We do a lot of referral work, dealing with alcoholics, mental problems, emergency counseling like suicide or hospital care," Father Auer says.

      The church employs Patricia Foley as a full time pastoral minister who has a volunteer staff.

      As director of the Christian Outreach program, Foley cares for the parish's elderly, taking them to doctors, bringing them meals, checking on them and putting them in touch with social services. She also teaches sacramental instruction to children who have had no religious training.

      Foley visits inactive church members. She also brings communion to those who cannot attend church and visits the sick in nursing homes and hospitals because "they need the company as well as the sacrament," she says.

      In the last month, she has helped collect food and furniture for two Glenview families who lost all their possessions in separate fires. One family is a member of the parish; the other is not. She also works with the North Shore Senior Center in Winnetka, placing some of her people with the center.

      "We pick up on anything--just people who call, strangers. We try to help them if we can, but refer them to Catholic Charities if they have needs we cannot meet," Foley says.

      The church also makes donations to Chicago Archdiocese charities. St. Catherine School children are raising money to help a school in Lima, Peru, and thus far have raised $2,000, Father Auer says.

      At Sts. Peter and Paul Greek Orthodox Church, Rev. George Scoulas, head pastor, says the main charity of this church is donating and distributing clothing and food in the Chicago area. The church also runs Sts. Peter and Paul Nursery School for children of all denominations. Its number is 729-2235. "We have ongoing weekly food drives where people bring in canned and dried foods. We take them to different centers in Chicago and the suburbs, Mt. Pisgah Church (a Baptist church in Chicago), the Indian Center on (Chicago's) North Side and to homes of people whose names have been given to us," Father Scoulas says.

      Rabbi Mark S. Shapiro of Congregation B'Nai Jehoshua Beth Elohim, says the synagogue conducts a preschool program cosponsored by the North Shore Jewish Community Centers. The preschool, 729-7575, is on Milwaukee Avenue in Glenview.

      Synagogue members also hold monthly blood drives for the Northwest Suburban Blood Center and support a food pantry in Chicago's Pilsen neighborhood, the community in which the synagogue originated before it moved to Glenview in 1965, Rabbi Shapiro says.

      Rev. Daniel F. Sullivan, associate pastor of Our Lady of Perpetual Help Catholic Church, says his congregation has four parishes in Chicago--St. James, St. Laurence, St. Ludmilla and St. Sabina--to which it takes canned food and shares liturgies.

      The church's Ministry of Care program brings communion to the sick and also arranges visits to the sick and transportation for the elderly.

      The church also runs Maryhaven, a convalescent home at 1700 East Lake Ave. in Glenview, started by a former pastor. The parish supports the home because the fees charged do not meet expenses; not all residents are church members.

      "Some people can't live by themselves any more because of a medical problem, or they can't cope with life alone, they have family members that live away from here and they don't want to move in with their sons or daughters because they are too far away," Father Sullivan says.

      To care for children, the church supports a preschool program for kindergarten and preschool children. Those interested in the preschool program or Maryhaven should call 729-1525.

      Every year a Chicago Hispanic family needing help is "adopted" by Immanuel Lutheran Church Missouri Synod, says Rev. Richard Maassel, pastor. The family is adopted through the Lutheran Social Services of Illinois, a social service agency for the synod. The church has a Social Ministry Commission that collects cans of food and accepts donations for the Chicago Uptown Ministry, an organization that provides needs for the homeless.

      "When people do come seeking out counseling, we do provide it; if it is requiring something more intensive, we provide more professional care," Rev. Maassel says.

      He also notes that "We do provide regular support for Lutheran World Relief for people overseas. A lot of support has been given to Ethiopia that way."

      The church members also hold a clothing drive for the world relief program, and Social Ministry Commission members conduct a blood drive once a year.

      Immanuel Church of the New Jerusalem--New Church, as it is known locally--is one of the older churches in town. The Swedenborgian community was established in the area in 1892, seven years before Glenview was incorporated in 1899. Rev. Brian Keith says the church runs a food pantry for the benefit of Northfield Township and collects toys at Christmas for inner-city schools. It also runs radio station WMWA (FM 88.5), which features "easy listening" and classical music.

      Station manager Dan Woodard says WMWA is primarily a school station that is owned by the New Church. The Glenbrook North and South High Schools use the station, sometimes to rebroadcast basketball and football games, and Little League championship games occasionally are broadcast.

      The radio station--which derived its call letters from Midwestern Academy, the Immanuel Church school--offers thoughts for the day.

      "We are always open and available to broadcast an interview with someone connected with an outreach group," Woodard says. The church's number is 724-0057.

      Immanuel Church, which is on large grounds that include a lake, is lending use of a field by the lake to Congregation B'Nai Jehoshua Beth Elohim, says Rev. Keith. Asbestos materials in the synagogue must be removed, and Rabbi Shapiro and his congregation needed a temporary worshipping place for several Friday evening and Saturday morning services.

      And so Glenview churches and synagogues have clothed, fed and sated the thirst of many people. But, armed with the knowledge that man does not live by bread alone, they have offered many others, in the Glenview tradition, a bear hug of support and understanding and a thought for the day.


      # # #
      « Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »
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      Offline Reddit TroubledTeens

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      Re: Suicide at ChildServ
      « Reply #8 on: January 10, 2012, 07:48:15 PM »
      So tragic. Great digging, Ursus, thank you.
      « Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »

      Offline Ursus

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      Lake Bluff Children's Home Historic Marker to be Dedicated
      « Reply #9 on: January 10, 2012, 10:01:45 PM »
      Here are a coupla articles about an historic marker being dedicated for the former Lake Bluff Children's Home, to be installed in a section of residential sidewalk...

      Fwiw, the pic is actually of the Vliet Museum, one of the sponsors of this plaque, and which is currently located on East Scranton Avenue as was the former Lake Bluff Children's Home. Their respective street numbers / relative locations are not made clear in this article, however.

      -------------- • -------------- • --------------

      LakeForest-LakeBluff Patch
      Lake Bluff Children's Home Historic Marker to be Dedicated

      Historic marker sits on spot where home once occupied entire block until the late 1960s.

      November 5, 2010



      The Lake Bluff Children's Home historic marker will be dedicated at 11 a.m. Monday, Nov. 8, at the Vliet Museum, 127 E. Scranton Ave., Lake Bluff?.

      The ceremony will be attended by representatives from the Vliet Center for Lake Bluff History, ChildServ (successor organization to the Lake Bluff Children's Home), the Village of Lake Bluff, Grace United Methodist Church and the Lake Bluff Women's Club.

      The ceremony will include a visit to view the historic marker, which honors the memory of children and staff who lived and worked at the orphanage called the Lake Bluff Children's Home. The marker was installed in a sidewalk panel at the northeast corner of East Scranton and Evanston Avenues.

      An important part of Lake Bluff history, the Lake Bluff Children's Home? was founded in 1894 when six homeless children were brought from Chicago to Lake Bluff. The Children's Home eventually grew to occupy the entire block where the marker is placed. The facility closed in 1969 and, four years later, the organization moved to Chicago and was renamed ChildServ.

      The marker was made possible by contributions from the Vliet Center for Lake Bluff History, Village of Lake Bluff, Grace United Methodist Church and Lake Bluff Women's Club.

      Related Topics: HIstoric Marker, Lake Bluff Children's Home, and Vliet Museum


      Copyright © 2012 Patch.
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      Offline Ursus

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      Historic Marker Ensures Children's Home Will Always be...
      « Reply #10 on: January 10, 2012, 10:05:11 PM »
      LakeForest-LakeBluff Patch
      Historic Marker Ensures Children's Home Will Always be Remembered

      Building once occupied full block in Lake Bluff until the late 1960s.

      By Patricia Havrin · November 10, 2010



      It's probably been more than 40 years since Heather Madison Walden has stood on the ground where the Lake Bluff Children's Home once occupied a full block near the northeast corner of East Scranton and Evanston Avenues.

      But this place holds good memories for her even if the circumstances that put her in the children's home from 1961-64 were not. Walden's parents were getting a divorce and her father had a drinking problem.

       "My Mom explained our going to the Children's Home like it was just like cousin Linda, who was going to college," Walden said. "'We will see you at times. We still love you,' my Mom said."

      While at the orphanage, Walden said she doesn't recall "any time where I was scared out of my wits, it was uneasy at times, but not scared," she said. "Thinking back we were able to go to things. We saw Victor Borge, Narrator of Stories and Harmonicats. We had opportunities we would not have had like going to the circus and Riverview every year. We saw moves. I think we were fortunate."

      To commemorate the memory of the children and staff that lived and worked at the orphanage, a historic marker was officially installed Monday in a sidewalk panel at the northeast corner of East Scranton and Evanston Avenues in Lake Bluff.

      The Lake Bluff Children's Home began in 1894 with the arrival of six orphans from Chicago and within a couple years grew to 30 children. The building was incorporated in 1895 as the Lake Bluff Methodist Deaconess Orphanage and between 1895-1969 expanded to become known as the Lake Bluff Children's Home, housing over 100 children per year and covering the entire 200 block of Scranton Avenue.

      Memorial Marker Coordinator Tom Tincher explained many of the children who stayed at the home were not orphans, but given up by parents who could no longer afford to support them.

      "Many of these children grow up and return to visit the Lake Bluff Community," Tincher said. "They are disappointed the orphanage is not there. This marker can alert people to where it stood."

      The Vliet Center for Lake Bluff History collaborated on the historic marker initiative with the Lake Bluff Women's Club, Village of Lake Bluff, Grace United Methodist Church and ChildServ.

      In 1973 the Lake Bluff Children's Home was renamed ChildServ and moved to Chicago.  Jim Jones, ChildServe CEO, said "there was such wisdom and such a vision for what the organization is today. Like to think that 116 years later it is still the same, wanting to bring permanent support to families."

      "ChildServ is Lake Bluff's Home," Jones added. "In terms of making a commitment to serve today's disparate people in underserved communities, they need the same kind of love they had then. All communities need to keep a great beginning alive." ?

      Over the years the Vliet Center has collected documents and photographs, as well as positive feedback from visitors who lived in the orphanage and come back thrilled to see the museum exhibits. Often they report the times spent in Lake Bluff were the happiest days of their life.

      Phyllis Albrecht, former Village president and Vliet director, explained that "the dedication of caregivers to children is a story we hear over and over again."

      United Methodist Church Pastor Debbie Fisher explained "the Methodist Church was right across the street from the orphanage. They came and filled our Sunday school classrooms and sang in our Choir. It was a wonderful relationship."

      Many of the volunteers and employees of the Children's Home were also church members, explained resident Mary Dalton, who has lived in the area since 1954. Long time townie Ethel Tincher explained that "people really felt connected with the Children's Home. Many pictures hanging in the Vliet Center used to be in the Methodist Fellowship Hall."

       Volunteer Kraig Moreland is currently working to raise enough money to finish producing a video on "Memories of the Children's Home of Lake Bluff."  Moreland has traveled to 10 states to interview and gather information.

      "Everyone I talked to, people who worked here, then went to work at other orphanages, all stated that it was not the same feel," Moreland said. "The staff and people who worked here were family. The married couples and people taking care of them were one big family. They had some outstanding leaders, and staff that were committed to kids."?

      Related Topics: Dedication, Lake Bluff Children's Home, Orphanage, and Vliet Museum


      Copyright © 2012 Patch.
      « Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »
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      Offline Ursus

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      Re: Historic Marker Ensures Children's Home Will Always be..
      « Reply #11 on: January 10, 2012, 10:10:06 PM »
      Here's a copy of that plaque:



      It reads as follows (including a typo in the 4th paragraph - "CHILDREN?S" - which looks like it may have actually made it into the sidewalk):


        LAKE BLUFF CHILDREN'S HOME
        1894 - 1969
        [/list]
          THE LAKE BLUFF CHILDREN'S HOME'S STATELY RED BRICK BUILDINGS ONCE OCCUPIED THIS ENTIRE BLOCK BORDERED BY SCRANTON, EVANSTON, GLEN AND  NORTH AVENUES.

          IN 1894 METHODIST DEACONESSES BROUGHT SIX HOMELESS CHICAGO CHILDREN TO LAKE BLUFF TO BE CARED FOR IN A RENTED COTTAGE.

          FROM THIS MODEST BEGINNING, A MAJOR CHILDCARE FACILITY DEVELOPED.

          MORE THAN 100 CHILDREN ANNUALLY RESIDED IN THE CHILDREN?S HOME, ATTENDED LOCAL SCHOOLS AND PARTICIPATED IN THE LIFE OF THE COMMUNITY.

          IN THE LATE 1950S FOSTER CARE SHIFTED TO PLACEMENT WITH INDIVIDUAL FAMILIES AND COMMUNITY-BASED PROGRAMS IN THE METROPOLITAN CHICAGO AREA. IN 1969 THE LAKE BLUFF FACILITY WAS CLOSED AND THE BUILDINGS WERE RAZED IN MARCH 1979.

          · · ·

          THIS MARKER IN MEMORY OF THE CHILDREN AND THEIR DEDICATED CAREGIVERS WAS MADE POSSIBLE BY:

          GRACE UNITED METHODIST CHURCH · LAKE BLUFF WOMEN'S CLUB · VILLAGE OF LAKE BLUFF · VLIET CENTER FOR LAKE BLUFF HISTORY · CHILDSERV
          [/list][/size]
            Copyright © 2012 Patch.[/list]
            « Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »
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            Offline none-ya

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            Re: Suicide at ChildServ
            « Reply #12 on: January 10, 2012, 11:06:04 PM »
            I'd like to backtrack a little. The OP Says that she took her life on a nearby railroad track. Was she actually hit by a train? If so,how do we know she was pushed?
            « Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »
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            Offline none-ya

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            Re: Suicide at ChildServ
            « Reply #13 on: January 10, 2012, 11:12:18 PM »
            After all they're not gonna do much of an autopsy on someone who was hit by train.
            « Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »
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            Offline Ursus

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            Re: Girl's Suicide Raises Question About Home For...
            « Reply #14 on: January 11, 2012, 10:42:30 PM »
            Quote from: "none-ya"
            I'd like to backtrack a little. The OP Says that she took her life on a nearby railroad track. Was she actually hit by a train? If so,how do we know she was pushed?
            Well...as far as I know, there was NO mention whatsoever about Caitlin being "pushed." Perhaps I'm misunderstanding you and and am taking you too literally here (I apologize, if that's the case).

            The specific language used in the article in the OP was (emphasis added):

              ChildServ in Naperville is where 15-year-old Caitlin Lee lived until
            she took her own life on nearby railroad tracks.[/list][/size]
            Thus far, and I could well stand to be corrected on this, there has been no description of just HOW Caitlin Lee took her own life on the railroad tracks.

            One thing IS clear, however, and that is that Caitlin's family blames the system in general, and ChildServ in particular. The article continues (emphasis added):

              Her mother, Mary Lee, blames the system and the home that was supposed to take care of her troubled daughter, who was a danger to herself and became a ward of the state.

              "I just remember screaming out, 'I told you this was going to happen,' " Mary Lee said about her daughter, who reportedly was not doing well at ChildServ.

              During her three-month stay at ChildServ, Lee ran away 17 times. In fact, in the nine days leading up to her death, she ran away six times.

              Caitlin's grandfather, Patrick Ward – a former elected state's attorney in Lee County – says Caitlin was doing better at a different facility and she should not have been moved to ChildServ.

              "She was my girl. She shouldn't have been released from the only place she was safe," said Ward. "And we tried and we yelled and we screamed and we begged."

              CBS 2's investigation uncovered police records showing Naperville police were called to the home 625 times in just two years.[/list][/size]
              « Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »
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