Getting Help & Intake

Getting Help & Intake

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 Department of Children and Family Services, and the Department of Healthcare and Family Services.

Residential Program Intake Contact:

client referrals phone: 217.367.3728, ext. 281

client referrals fax: 217.367.5915

Important information about eligibility for residential services:

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 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) which is a program provided by the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services.  FSP provides services to clients through community-based services as well as funding residential services.  Clients who are deemed eligible for FSP services generally have a significant history of psychiatric issues (e.g., hospitalizations).  Parents may independently complete the application process but are encouraged to obtain assistance through an FSP Coordinator in their designated service area.  Below are resources to learn more about FSP and designated service areas to seek assistance. Note: FSP funds residential services both in Illinois and out-of-state.

Helpful links:

Education Programs Intake Contacts:

CIRCLE Academy - Urbana: Linda Fox 217.367.3728, ext. 216

CIRCLE Academy - Vermilion: Linda Fox 217.367.3728, ext. 502

Community Programs Intake Contacts:

Transitional Living, Independent Living, ECHO Housing and Employment Support, Intensive Placement Stabilization (IPS), Families Stronger Together (FST), Runaway and Homeless Youth Services (RHY), Job Training and Economic Development (JTED), Project Parenthood: Penne Biggers 217.337.9059; Fax 217.367.5910

Vocational Options: Penne Biggers 217.337.9059; Fax: 217.367.5910

HopeSprings: Dawn Cluver 217.531.2360; Fax: 217.352.2635