Posted by Al Anile

From left to right:  Rotarian John Haben -  Haley Hansen, MFS Behavioral Health Team - Judge-Rotarian and MFS past Board Member Barbara Meyer - MFS Executive Director Roxanne Nava.

Roxanna Nava and Haley Hansen,  Executive Director and Behavioral Team of the Metropolitan Family Services, were the guest speakers at the Skokie Valley weekly luncheon meeting of June 4, 2019.
Since 1857, Metropolitan Family Services has empowered families to learn, to earn, to heal and to thrive. Founded as the Chicago Relief and Aid Society, this organization has helped families get through the devastating hardships of poverty, world wars, epidemics and natural disasters.
Throughout their  long history  Metropolitan Family Services have reached out to help the young and old, unemployed and working poor, long-time citizens and new immigrants and those challenged by changing economics, troubled relationships, inadequate education and mental health issues. They have supported them with financial aid, counseling, education and legal services. But most of all, they have bolstered the strength that lies within each person, provided hope for a brighter future and helped individuals and families reclaim their dignity and purpose.
Today Metropolitan Family Services assists more than 79,800 families and individuals annually through seven community centers in Chicago, Evanston/Skokie, the southwest suburbs and DuPage County. Those served are as diverse as the communities in which they live, with 81% being part of the working poor or lower-middle class.
Metropolitan Family Services provides a wide variety of programs and services designed to strengthen families and help them realize their full potential. Part mentor, part motivator, part advocate, Metropolitan empowers families to learn, to earn, to heal and to thrive through services provided in four key areas.
This program offers supportive counseling to adults, children, and families in any phase of life to better handle their challenges.  It helps individuals and families deal effectively with mental illness and support recovery.
Adult Mental Health is a holistic approach that helps adults build on individual strengths and capacity for change, and live productively and independently in the community. When needed, a psychiatric evaluation and medication monitoring to keep care on track is also  provided. Specialized support is available for veterans and domestic violence survivors.
Children and Adolescent Mental Health helps kids be kids with the normal ups and downs of growing up. This service helps children and adolescents with emotional difficulties to recover, strengthen family relationships, and succeed in school. It stabilize crisis situations and help keep children out of hospitals and other restrictive treatment environments.
Senior Counseling Services are designed to help families meet the challenges and opportunities of later years,  by offering counseling, in-home respite, adult protective services, and support for caregivers, homeowners, and grandparents raising grandchildren.
This program promotes academic achievement and social and emotional development among children, youth and families to foster success in life. Helps parents, especially younger parents, prepare for the challenges of parenting ensures that children are cared for, nurtured and experience a future of promise and opportunity.
Through supportive, caring counseling, individuals and families in any phase of life are empowered to better handle life’s challenges. Metropolitan Family Services mental health services provides psychiatric evaluation, case management and crisis intervention to help children and adults with chronic mental illness recover and be productive.  Assistance is offered to older adults and their caregivers to meet the unique concerns of this stage of life. Compassionate violence prevention programs alleviate the impact of community or domestic violence. And specialized veterans’ services help returning soldiers and their families reintegrate into civilian life and reconnect with one another.
This programs offers support and education to economically challenged families so they may improve the quality of their work, lifestyle and finances; and helps families prepare for, find and sustain stable jobs and housing, which is vital to long-term stability. Through specialized counseling services, their Employee Assistance Network helps employees remain productive and achieve balance between their work and personal lives.
This program offers counseling, caregiving and protective services, and support for grandparents raising grandchildren. All services are designed to help families meet the challenges and opportunities of later years.
Adult Protective Services investigates reports of abuse, neglect and exploitation of seniors ages 60 and older and adults with disabilities. When abuse is substantiated, interventions are planned with the victim, family and others to reduce risk of further harm. Legal and senior self-neglect services are offered at certain locations.
Family Caregiver Support groups give children of aging parents, spouses and long-distance caregivers an opportunity to share caregiving concerns, learn to balance their needs with those of their loved ones, manage stress, feel supported by others who share their journey, and get helpful tips and resources.
Grandparents Raising Grandchildren helps mobilize support services for older caregivers who are raising children and assists in future planning including assessment, referrals, support and educational groups, and in certain instances family and individual counseling.
Older Caregivers Project helps older caregivers plan for children’s long-term care (permanency planning). It aids families in establishing a stronger support system through case management and linkages to community resources, ensures the well-being and safety of the children and caregivers, and provides a recommendation regarding the permanency of the children.
Senior Counseling helps physically, emotionally and/or economically vulnerable older adults function as independently as possible. It includes in-home or office assessments, family and individual counseling, support groups, case management and links to resources.
Senior Homeowners Program serves low- to moderate-income homeowners age 60 or older who have difficulty maintaining their homes. The program provides referrals to reputable home repair contractors and links seniors to city departments and programs to help maintain their property. We also conduct workshops on topics such as reducing consumer fraud.
From early learning, after school and job readiness programs to counseling, mental health services and legal assistance, we’re here for you!
1857 - The Chicago Relief and Aid Society is founded and incorporated by the Illinois State legislature.
1871 - Mayor Mason appoints the Chicago Relief and Aid Society to administer all relief, nearly $10 million in money and goods, to victims of the Great Chicago Fire.
1888 - The Chicago Relief and Aid Society and Chicago Charity Organization merge, bringing a greater focus on poverty prevention to the organization.
1909 - The Chicago Relief and Aid Society and the Chicago Bureau of Charities merge to form United Charities of Chicago.
1919 - The Chicago Legal Aid Society becomes part of United Charities. The renamed Legal Aid Bureau begins providing free legal service for civil law cases.
1930 - United Charities serves more than 20,000 people each month during the Great Depression.
1934 - United Charities helps establish the Community Fund of Chicago, now the United Way.
1935 - United Charities leader Joel D. Hunter serves on an official advisory council established by President Franklin D. Roosevelt to help shape what would become the Social Security Act.
1966 - United Charities expands its services and opens its first suburban office in Palos Hills to serve southwest Cook County.
1985 - A new office is established on Chicago’s Southeast Side to serve the community that was severly affected by the closing of local steel mills.
United Charities furthers its expansion in the suburbs, acquiring the DuPage Center.
1995 - United Charities changes its name to Metropolitan Family Services to better reflect the work and scope of the broad community it serves.
2006 - Metropolitan moves to its current headquarters at One North Dearborn in Chicago and continues to serve more than 50,000 individuals and families annually.
2007 - Metropolitan celebrates its 150th anniversary and convenes the Inaugural Summit on the Metropolitan Family, bringing together 300 prominent leaders to inspire new solutions to challenges facing families.
2012 - Metropolitan is awarded the contract for Head Start in DuPage County, acquires the Court Advocacy program, and is named United Way Agency Partner of the Year.
2016 - Metropolitan convenes Communities Partnering 4 Peace (CP4P), working with eight partner organizations to address violence issues in Chicago.