Good Shepherd Center Early Intervention Program

This program provides therapeutic services for children with developmental disabilities/delays, age’s birth to 3 that include Physical, Occupational, Speech & Developmental Therapy to improve the overall physical condition of the child, while preparing them to transition to public school Early Childhood programs most effectively.

Families may receive this service in the “natural environment” of the family home or the child’s Day Care facility.

In addition to providing these needed services for children, we also emphasize family support as a key component of assuring a healthy child as part of this program.  We also continue to offer all the families in this program the opportunity to meet and support each other through agency-sponsored training, an informational Lending Library and family fun events.

This program serves families in southern Cook and northern Will counties.  For further information call the Early Intervention Coordinator at 708-985-3724. 


Good Shepherd Center Outpatient Pediatric Therapy Services

This program was developed through the Early Intervention program in which we are able to continue to provide children with needed therapy services by continuing to bill the family health insurance or through private pay.  Services offered in this program include Occupational, Physical and Speech therapies.  For further information call the Early Intervention Manager at 708-985-3724.


Good Shepherd Center In-Home Respite Program

Through this program our agency provides short-term, intermittent care for persons with a diagnosis of Autism, Cerebral Palsy, Epilepsy or Intellectual / Developmental Disabilities in their natural, guardian or foster family home.  Our staff is sent into the family home to provide care for the individual with special needs, as well as any siblings under the age of 18.  This allows the primary caregivers the opportunity to attend community events with the comforting knowledge that their children are being well cared for in their absence. 

The basis of the In-Home Respite Care program is to defer or deter residential placement of individuals who have a developmental disability, by relieving the family members who experience extraordinary stress associated with the regular care-giving role.  If the family is to function as a supportive unit, then the family itself must be supported.  Demands on a family’s time, energy, financial resources and emotional commitment can be detrimental to all members.  Family support, through respite care, helps to strengthen the family unit so it can function to its potential.

In addition to providing Respite Care for families, this department also assists families in accessing other available services for their child by providing referral services and to assure that the families’ needs are best met.  This department also provides CPR/First Aid training for families at no charge.   

This program serves families in southwest suburban Cook and northern Will Counties as well as the Chicago neighborhoods of Beverly, Mt. Greenwood and Morgan Park.  For further information call the In-Home Services Director at 708-985-3722.   


Good Shepherd Center Children & Adult Waiver Program

Good Shepherd Center’s waiver program provides supports to eligible children and young adults with developmental disabilities who live at home with their families. These support services include a range of training and assistance to enable participants to accomplish tasks that they would normally do for themselves if they did not have a disability. These services may include:

  • Teaching adaptive skills to assist the individual to reach personal goals.                                                   
  • Personal assistance in activities of daily living.
  • Assistance in performing age-appropriate housekeeping chores such as bed making, dusting and vacuuming, which are essential to the health and welfare of the participant.
  • Services provided on a short-term basis because of the absence or need for relief of the primary caregivers (Respite Care).

For more information please call the In-Home Services Director at 708-985-3722.


Good Shepherd Center Community Partner Program

In collaboration with Illinois Action for Children, through this program Good Shepherd Center provides training opportunities and support for Day Care Centers and Home Childcare providers in the far south suburban Cook county area.  This training includes all areas of information relevant to child development with an increased ability to provide information on the care and treatment of children with developmental disabilities.  For further information call the Community Partner Director at 708-985-3737.

Good Shepherd Center Strong Children ~ Strong Communities Conference

This event has been developed to provide parents; childcare workers and educators with needed educational and support information that targets topical issues regarding children with and without developmental disabilities. The goal of the program is to assist caregivers in becoming more aware of current issues and raise their confidence in their ability to face these challenges. We provide sessions for English and Spanish speaking audiences, as well as exhibitors that present goods and services to support the needs of children.  For further information call the Community Partner Director at 985-3737.


Acorn Child Care Center / Acorn Academy

4815 155th St #1, Oak Forest, IL 60452

In 2015 we proudly acquired the Acorn Child Care Center in Oak Forest, Illinois. Finding high quality child Care for children with special needs can be very difficult for parents so by initiating this new service we hope to address that problem. This program is new to the agency and is being developed with the needs of all children in mind including the layout, age appropriate equipment and computers. For further information call the Center Director at 708-687-9700.   


Building a Better Future for All Children

Through this project can stop the growing number of children, especially those with developmental disabilities from losing their placement in their Child Care Centers. Lack of education and confidence are the primary reasons    Providers initiate discharge from their programs. This project provides the skills needed to meet the individual needs of children served.

Many children engage in inappropriate behaviors including aggression, defiance, & self-injury, but when the behaviors become persistent, intense & interfere with the child’s, or others lives, they are called challenging behaviors. It is then that an urgent need arises to intervene. In fact, preschool expulsion rates exceed those for school age children & the primary reason is challenging behaviors. The prevalence of challenging behaviors is especially troubling given that challenging behaviors identified in the preschool years are predictive of later adjustment challenges & negative long-term developmental outcomes.    

This project will provide education and support for caregivers regarding developmental disabilities and the handling of challenging behaviors in all children. By providing these resources caregivers will be better able to meet the needs of children in their care. For further information call the Project Coordinator at 708-985-3727. 

Good Shepherd Center offers a number of services and programs for individuals with disabilities and their families. Specific information is noted under individual programs.