Mission to Reduce Psychological Stressors for Preschool and Elementary Students

 CHICAGO – June 1, 2017; A group of determined citizens cut the ribbon today on the new Family CARES Center located at Northwestern Settlement. The clinic helps children and families make positive changes in their lives, maximize their potential, and improve their function in society. The center provides mental health services to families with children enrolled at the Settlement’s Rowe Elementary charter school and Early Childhood Education programs.

Children’s Home + Aid provides mental health services at the Center, with clinical coordination from a full-time Settlement employee.

“Our children confront trauma, anxiety, depression and loss every day. Our new clinic, like all of the services provided by Northwestern Settlement, is designed to disrupt poverty and reverse its negative impact,” said Ron Manderschied, president of Northwestern Settlement.

The Family CARES Center was conceived in 2014, when Manderschied and Dr. Christine Jacobek of the Chicago Institute for Psychoanalysis formed a Mental Health Committee consisting of Settlement staff and stakeholders. The duo assembled a task force to gauge the mental health needs of the Settlement’s community and to identify a partner organization with a strong history of counseling services and therapeutic service capabilities. Children’s Home + Aid got involved in the initiative in 2016, signing a memorandum of understanding with the Settlement to be the strategic partner for the Family CARES Center. “The Family CARES Center is a natural extension of our vision to provide a better future for children, youth and their families,” said Nancy Ronquillo, president and CEO of Children’s Home + Aid. “It has been a labor of love to work with the team at Northwestern Settlement to launch this clinic so the scholars enrolled at Rowe Elementary receive mental health services right in their neighborhood, free from the barriers of language, paperwork or the high price of healthcare.”

The neighbors who benefit from the services provided by Northwestern Settlement have been involved in the clinic since its inception, providing feedback on how it can best serve their needs, and also giving it the name of Family CARES Center.

Northwestern Settlement – now in its 126th year of service to Chicago – has nurtured, educated and inspired children and families across 86 percent of the city’s zip codes in a quest to disrupt the cycle of generational poverty that plagues many urban neighborhoods. Founded in 1891 by leaders of Northwestern University, the Settlement has operated as a financially independent institution since its inception, from a campus of buildings headquartered at 1400 W. Augusta Blvd. in Chicago.  The Settlement operates a food pantry, a childcare center, Rowe Elementary School, House In The Wood Camp featuring the Valerie Hall Outdoor Education Center, a robust AmeriCorps Project YES! program and Adventure Stage Chicago, one of the country’s largest children’s theatre companies dedicated to celebrating heroic stories about young people.


About Northwestern Settlement:

Northwestern Settlement has nurtured, educated, and inspired children and families in need in Chicago for 126 years. Although our methods of service have changed, the Settlement continues to disrupt generational poverty by providing fully integrated educational, social services and arts programs to meet the complex needs of our neighbors. Learn more about Northwestern Settlement at northwesternsettlement.org.

About Children’s Home + Aid:

Children’s Home + Aid is a leading child and family service agency in Illinois. The organization helps children recover their health, their hope, and their faith in the people around them. We link children to a network of opportunity and care, to extended family, teachers, mentors, and the resources of the neighborhood and community. For more than 133 years, the organization has gone wherever children and families need them, and where that work has been proven to be most effective: at home, in the classroom, in the neighborhood, in the course of daily life. The organization has offices located across Illinois and serves more than 40,000 children and families in over 60 counties each year. For more information about Children’s Home + Aid, visit childrenshomeandaid.org


For more information:

Maggie Arden
(773) 969-5575

Jassen Strokosch
(312) 424-6841