Lori looks like a 20-year-old you might pass any day in Highland Park. Her story is anything but ordinary. Raised by parents who suffered from untreated mental illness, she grew up isolated and was anxious and untrusting of the outside world. At 18, she fell into a severe depression.
Counseling for All Ages
Counseling has been central to the mission of Family Service for 66 years. Over 8,100 hours of counseling were provided in our 2014 Fiscal Year to over 4,000 clients of all ages. Our professional clinicians all hold Master’s degrees, all but two are Licensed Clinical Social Workers (LCSW) and, as a group, they average over 20 years of post-license experience. Our goal is to achieve at least 90% client satisfaction with progress on their self-identified goals, and a rate of 3.5 out of 4 in satisfaction with counseling experience and services. We conduct a counseling-client survey each year. In FY15, 99%+ of clients rated either "satisfactory" or "excellent" progress on their self-identified goals, and our overall counseling satisfaction rating was 3.8 out of 4, with 1 being "poor" and 4 being "excellent." Therefore, we believe our clients are extremely satisfied with the services they are receiving.
Counseling is provided on a sliding-fee scale. No one is turned away because of an inability to pay. The average client pays $6.60 for an hour of counseling that actually costs $72. The fee may be waived completely for clients who are unemployed or facing significant financial difficulties.
Our professional counseling services offer support focused on strengths, creating hope and developing coping skills. Clients range from children to seniors. Our licensed clinicians provide high quality counseling services which help to foster confidence and a sense of well-being. By partnering with clients and offering a safe and confidential environment, Family Service clinicians help a client to overcome problems, resolve troublesome behaviors and challenge thoughts which may interfere with a person’s ability to make decisions and function at one’s best. Clients are given strategies and tools to take into everyday life. The focus is on the client attaining their goals, creating change and experiencing personal growth by building on a person’s strengths. Counseling services are offered to individuals, couples and families to address many issues including school difficulties, family relationships, loss of employment, grief and loneliness, financial problems, to name just a few. Included among counseling services is the Employee Assistance Program (EAP), which provides counseling services to area companies and municipalities concerned about troubled employees.
Family Service was the first agency in the area to offer bilingual/bicultural counseling, in 1981. For 34 years, Family Service’s bilingual clinicians have been extremely effective in helping Latino individuals, couples and families overcome obstacles that often keep them from attaining their goals. Our bilingual clinicians provide professional counseling services in Spanish and remain aware and respectful of cultural dynamics which are strong and significant to Latino clients. Bilingual counseling specifically helps clients overcome cultural obstacles in order to thrive in a foreign community. Specific cultural obstacles include navigating everyday life challenges of language barriers, assimilating while maintaining ethnic identity, feelings of isolation, and the need to understand vastly different financial, medical and government institutions. Bilingual clinicians are highly qualified and offer all the counseling services as indicated above under General Counseling. Family Service’s bilingual clinicians are extremely effective in providing Latino families with the pesonal strengths they need to put down roots and thrive in their new communities.
Counseling at Family Service of Barrington Area
The Barrington office has, for nearly 50 years, been focused on individual counseling and counseling groups. Ongoing in the Barrington Area is the “Women Coming Together” group, which is designed to bring together women of all ages facing issues including returning to the work force, unemployment, divorce, caring for elderly parents or an ill relative, and facing retirement with limited resources. New groups are being developed for teens and family caregivers of seniors. The goals of all these groups align closely with community issues identified in the Healthier Barrington Project. These initiatives are supported by funding from the Barrington Area Community Foundation.
If you live in Highland Park or Highwood, Illinois, Family Service's CONNECT/CONECTAR staff will work with you to identify, determine eligible, and connect you with resources designed to improve your financial stability through our programs. Families, children, adults, and seniors may be eligible. If you are eligible, a Family Service case manager will help you find free and low-cost resources and options for utilities, health care, food, transportation and financial assistance. This is a new program begun with a grant from United Way Metro Chicago. To find out more, please call 847-432-4981, x102.