Foster Care

Specialized Foster Care Programs

Children are placed in foster care due to abuse, neglect or abandonment. Foster care programs are vital for children that need a safe, structured place to live. Foster parents support kids in their home in many ways: through tending to their well-being and educational needs, supporting them to fulfill the wishes they have for their lives, providing opportunities for the youth to understand themselves, supporting healthy, meaningful relationships, and more. The initial goal for all youth in specialized foster care is to return to their natural parents. If this is not possible, a home is sought for the youth to live in permanently.

Our staff utilize the REStArT model and work collaboratively with each youth to achieve their personal goals.

Who is a good fit for becoming a Specialized Foster Parent?

Parents interested in our foster care programs come from all cultures and walks of life, must be at least 21 years of age, with stable housing and income, and be able to pass a background check. Foster parents need to be open to learning how to work with children who have experienced adverse life situations and help the child maintain healthy family ties, as appropriate. A commitment to participate in training and applying training concepts as part of a treatment team is essential.

I have been a foster parent for 6 years and worked with 3 different agencies. Of these 3 agencies, Allendale staff have been the most supportive and transparent. My caseworker is responsive and knowledgeable. If my caseworker is unavailable, I know that I can turn to the other caseworkers or the supervisor, because they all know our family and the case. Allendale offers valuable, monthly trainings that are not only informative, but give foster parents time to interact and create community. If you are looking to be a foster parent and want to be a valued member of the team, I highly recommend you choose Allendale.”

– S.B., current Foster Parent

How Does Allendale Support Foster Families?

  • Specialized trauma-informed training based on Allendale’s REStArTSM model, as well as training in other topics relevant to youth with special needs
  • Clinical consultation conferences with the treatment team and quarterly Child and Family Team Meetings
  • In-home caseworker visits
  • Identification of support services for the youth (e.g., therapy, psychiatry, and mentoring)
  • 24/7 on-call access to Foster Care program department worker

Did You Know?

  • Our Allendale Foster Care staff guide and support those interested in becoming a licensed foster parent -- throughout the entire licensing application process that may take 6-9 months to complete.
  • Infants and young children are not the only ones in need of a loving foster home. Allendale’s Specialized Foster Care Program in Chicago specializes in working alongside foster families who can provide a caring and structured home environment where adolescents can feel safe and supported, leading to the achievement of their goals and ultimate independence.

How can I get more information about Allendale’s Specialized Foster Care Program?

Contact our Specialized Foster Care Department at 847-356-3322 or email

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