Children’s Home Association of Illinois

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Children’s Home has been caring for the children in our community for 150 years. Operating from six locations in the Peoria area, our staff of 400+ professionals are committed to community-based, family-focused programs that provide counseling, education and support to more than 1,700 children and families each month. Programs for children and youth include: residential care, group homes, foster care and adoption, supervised independent living, private school, crisis intervention, mental health assessment, homeless services, in-home counseling and family preservation.

We are very proud of our history in Peoria and are dedicated to improving the lives of children with special needs, but our work wouldn’t be possible without the support of a caring community. If you would like to learn more about how you can help the kids through a variety of volunteer opportunities, employment, becoming a foster parent, or making a charitable donation – please take some time to check out the rest of our site.

We thank you for helping us fulfill our mission of giving children a childhood and future!

Our Mission:

Giving children a childhood and future by protecting them, teaching them and healing them, and by building strong communities and loving families.

Our Vision:

A healthy community where families and children come first.

Our Values:

  • Integrity
  • Collaboration
  • Knowledge
  • Diversity
  • Commitment
  • Quality

Our Locations

Children’s Home currently operates from over 6 locations in the community. Click to learn more! Learn More

The Academy For Autism

The Academy for Autism serves students in grades K-12 with an educational or medical diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder. Learn More

How to Get Involved

Are you interested in volunteering for Children’s Home? If so, THANK YOU for your willingness to help further our vision of a healthy community where children and families come first. Learn More

HISTORY

In 1866, a group of civic minded women in Peoria, Illinois responded to the needs of the poor by forming the Christian Home Mission. In the beginning, they would divide the city into and visit households identifying families in need and provide relief in the form of groceries, coal, clothing, and medicine. These women also sought to eradicate the causes of poverty and established the Industrial School to teach young girls sewing and mending skills.

The Christian Home Mission secured a charter from the state and, in 1875, Home for the Friendless, now known as “The Children’s Home.” Their original capacity was for 6-8 women and children. 20 years later, 60 women and children were given shelter at the Home for the Friendless with the need for the services continuing to grow. In 1912, 16-20 more girls were given housing by converting the house next door.

As time went on, residential services were still offered and the Children’s Home began accepting emergency admissions from the police and other community agencies. Children with greater needs were accepted for treatment and capacity was reduced to 20-30 children because the treatment required more space. In 1964, Sommer House, an aftercare group home for high school-aged girls, opened and its success prompted the opening of a boys’ group home in 1967. In 1976, The Pre-School Family Center merged with the Children’s Home creating what is now known as Kiefer School. This added a therapeutic day nursery, and services for children ages 6-12 with social, emotional and behavioral disorders. During the 1980’s, community-based programs began to help prevent the unnecessary removal of children from their homes and two Supervised Independent Living facilities opened serving older teens transitioning to independent adult living. In the 90’s, the Children’s Home gained an increased focus on preventing criminal activity to avert youth from entering the juvenile Department of Corrections. In 1995, a new logo and mission statement were unveiled designed to increase visibility and create greater awareness in the community imparting a sense of hope, optimism and a vision for the future. The new mission statement communicated that Children’s Home is part of something greater and helped tie us to the larger community. Children’s Home merged with Youth Farm allowing the children from the Knoxville Campus to move to the Youth Farm Campus to enjoy a tranquil setting they did not experience in the city. 

Currently, operating from six locations in the Peoria area, our professional staff of approximately 450 is committed to community-based, family-focused programs that provide counseling, education and support to nearly 1,700 children each month.  Programs for children and youth include: residential care, group homes, foster care and adoption, supervised independent living, private school, crisis intervention, mental health assessment, homeless services, in-home counseling and family preservation.

Knoxville

2130 N. Knoxville Ave.
Peoria, IL 61603

309.685.1047

The Knoxville Campus houses offices for our Administrative Staff as well as our Family Preservation, Foster Care and Youth Services programs.

Knoxville location image

Academy

404 N.E. Madison Ave.
Peoria, IL 61603

The Academy Campus houses Kiefer School, The Academy for Autism and the offices of the Supervised Independent Living Program.

Academy location image

Behavioral Health Center

2011 N. Knoxville
Peoria, IL 61603

The Behavioral Health Center houses offices for our Behavioral Health Services.

Behavioral Health Center location image

Good Beginnings

3310 N Prospect Rd.
Peoria, IL 61603

The Good Beginnings programs are housed off of Prospect Ave.

Good Beginnings location image

Scott’s Prairie

2009 N. Taylor Rd.
Hanna City, IL 61536

Scott’s Prairie is a 70-acre farm that offers educational, recreational and therapeutic experiences for our kids.

Scott's Prairie location image

Youth Farm

7225 W. Plank Rd.
Peoria, IL 61604

The Youth Farm houses offices for our Residential Treatment program and Group Homes.

Youth Farm location image

Leading the Way

Mission / Vision / Values

Directors & Trustees

Leadership Team

Getting Involved

Donations / Gifts

Events

Trainings 

Employment

Call to Action

Foster Parenting

Internships

Volunteering

Caring for Children

School Closings

Education

Placement

Clinical

Community

Scott’s Prairie

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