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Article updated: 12/31/2012 5:17 AM

How suburban group homes work to reduce calls to police

Daily Herald filed Freedom of Information requests on emergency calls to 36 group homes.

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In November, ChildServ bought this house from Lisle Township for about $375,000. The township had been leasing the home to the agency, but decided it wanted out of the landlord business after learning of the volume of police complaints there.

Scott Sanders | Staff Photographer

Andrea Johnson, a group home supervisor for the Larkin Center, stands in the living area of an Elgin group home that houses eight girls who have been the victims of physical, emotional and sexual abuse.

Rick West | Staff Photographer

Larkin Center Executive Director Dennis Graf talks about the challenges they face at their group homes for troubled kids.

Rick West | Staff Photographer

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Larkin Center Chief Operating Officer Michelle Potter and Executive Director Dennis Graf discuss some of the challenges they face at their group homes for troubled kids, which include funding issues and frequent runaways.

Rick West | Staff Photographer

Liza Beaty

Rob Beaty

About this Article

While most group homes operate quietly, others create a surprisingly high volume of calls to emergency services. A single 13-year-old client at an Elgin group home who was a chronic runaway generated 130 police contacts in 2010 and 2011. And a Naperville group home for troubled teen girls operated by ChildServ generated 723 calls to emergency services between January 2010 and May 2012.
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    • In November, ChildServ bought this house from Lisle Township for about $375,000. The township had been leasing the home to the agency, but decided it wanted out of the landlord business after learning of the volume of police complaints there.
    •  Andrea Johnson, a group home supervisor for the Larkin Center, stands in the living area of an Elgin group home that houses eight girls who have been the victims of physical, emotional and sexual abuse.
    •  Larkin Center Executive Director Dennis Graf talks about the challenges they face at their group homes for troubled kids.
    •  Larkin Center Chief Operating Officer Michelle Potter and Executive Director Dennis Graf discuss some of the challenges they face at their group homes for troubled kids, which include funding issues and frequent runaways.
    • Liza Beaty
    • Rob Beaty
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