The path to hope begins with finding someone who can help.

When a family is in crisis, it takes courage to ask for help. While Cunningham is a resource for some families, it’s important that the process begins close to home. Community mental health centers, school social workers and local and national hotlines are all good places to start.

Cunningham Children’s Home accepts children and youth into our programs through referral and funding from agencies such as a local school district, the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) and the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services.

How to access youth residential and group home programs

STEP 1 – Secure a funding source

At the time of referral, clients who wish to be placed in our residential and group home programs must have a funding source for placement. We are unable to accept private insurance or Medicaid to fund residential services.

Funding sources for residential services include:

  • The Illinois Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS): DCFS funds residential placements when they have guardianship and the youth is unable to be safely maintained in a less restrictive setting, such as foster care.
  • Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE): ISBE funds residential placements when the youth has an Individual Education Program (IEP) and the school district is unable to manage the student’s behaviors within the regular school setting. To pursue ISBE as a possible funding source, please talk with your child’s school social worker to discuss emotional and/or behavioral concerns and your desire to seek residential treatment.
  • The Family Support Program (FSP):
    The FSP program, offered by the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services, delivers community-based and residential services to clients with significant psychiatric histories. While parents can apply independently, they’re encouraged to seek assistance from an FSP Coordinator in their service area. Note: FSP funds residential services both in Illinois and out-of-state.
Helpful resources:
  1. FSP General information, including contacts
  2. FSP application
  3. Designated Service Areas (to locate your region)
  4. Designated Mobile Crisis Response Providers (based on designated service area)

STEP 2 – Reach out to Cunningham for assessment

Residential Client Referrals phone: (217) 367-3728, ext. 281

Residential Client Referrals fax: 217.367.5915

How to access the CIRCLE education program

For both the Urbana and Vermilion locations, contact Linda Fox by phone at 217.367.3728, ext. 216.

staff and students arriving to school on bus

How to get started at HopeSprings

HopeSprings Counseling Services, a program of Cunningham Children’s Home, is located in Champaign and offers counseling expertise to youth and families in our community who are experiencing a difficult life situation.

For HopeSprings Counseling Services, contact Dawn Cluver by phone at 217.531.2360 and by fax at 217.352.2635

Mother, Father sitting next to each other with their daughter also on the couch but further away and all three are looking at each other as therapist sits across