Posted: November 6, 2017 | Keywords: Grant Award Announcements

Statewide Safe from the Start Program Serves Children Ages 0 to 5

CHICAGO-November 1, 2017. Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority (ICJIA) Executive Director John Maki today announced the agency has awarded more than $1 million in grants to programs across Illinois serving young children who have been exposed to violence

Safe from the Start supports development, implementation, and evaluation of collaborative community-based models to identify, assess, and provide counseling and family support services to children ages 0 to 5 who have been exposed to violence in their home and/or community. Without intervention, young children exposed to violence are at risk for cognitive delays and emotional and social difficulties that can lead to additional victimization and later juvenile justice involvement.

“Safe from the Start is a unique, research-driven program that reaches urban, suburban, and rural Illinois children and families,” said Executive Director Maki. “We will continue to support programs that leverage multi-jurisdictional and collaborative efforts to best serve at-risk populations.”

A 14-year study of the early intervention program showed a significant impact. Pre- and post-intervention assessments showed children’s trauma symptoms were alleviated with services. In one assessment, 43 percent of SFS child clients scored in the borderline or clinical range of problem behaviors prior to receiving services. That figure dropped to 29 percent post-intervention.

The study also showed the program was helpful to parents and other caregivers. Following services, the percentage of caregivers scoring at or above the borderline clinical range on the Parental Stress Inventory assessment dropped from 42 percent to 33 percent.

Grant awards included:

Agency Awarded

Geographic Area Served


Children’s Advocacy Center of North & Northwest Cook County

Elk Grove, Hanover, Maine, Palatine, Schaumburg, and Wheeling townships; Prospect Heights; Carpentersville; East Dundee

$ 121,500

Center for Prevention of Abuse

Peoria, Tazewell and Woodford counties

$ 121,500

Casa Central

Chicago’s Austin, Belmont Cragin, Hermosa, Humboldt Park, Logan Square, South Lawndale, and West Town neighborhoods, and Near West Side

$ 75,000

Child Abuse Council

Rock Island, Henry and Mercer counties

$ 121,500

Children’s Home + Aid Society of Illinois

McLean County

$ 121,500

Family Focus, Inc.

Chicago’s Englewood and West Englewood neighborhoods

$ 75,000

Heartland Human Care Services

Chicago’s Pilsen, Little Village, Brighton Park, Back of the Yards, and McKinley Park neighborhoods

$ 75,000

Metropolitan Family Services

Chicago’s Roseland, Pullman, and West Pullman neighborhood

$ 75,000

South Suburban Family Shelter, Inc.

Bloom, Bremen, Calumet, Crete, Frankfort, Manhattan, Monee, New Lennox, Orland, Palos, Peotone, Rich, Thornton, and Washington townships

$ 121,500

University of Illinois at Chicago (Evaluation contract)

$ 123,900


$ 1,031,400

For more information on childhood exposure to violence, go to http://lookthroughtheireyes.org/videos-2/.