Lutherbrook facilities in Addison to close next month

  • Lutherbrook Academy, on Lake Street in Addison, is slated to close by the end of June.

    Lutherbrook Academy, on Lake Street in Addison, is slated to close by the end of June. daily herald file photo

 
 
Updated 5/16/2017 12:41 AM

Lutheran Child and Family Services of Illinois announced Monday that the Lutherbrook Child and Adolescent Center and Lutherbrook Academy, both in Addison, will close by the end of June.

The facilities, which provide services for traumatized children, are among nine programs and about 100 positions throughout the state being phased out by the charity, according to a news release.

 

The other programs slated to close are Chicago Uptown Ministry, Financial Education in Chicago, Hardin Food Pantry, Little Village Food Pantry in Chicago, Nice Twice Thrift Shop in Mount Vernon, Senior Care Services in Chicago, and Veterans Assistance Program in Decatur.

The organization says trying to meet the needs of too many diverse groups and inadequate state funding created a funding gap that has led to the decision to cut programs and eliminate nearly 25 percent of its staff.

The Lutherbrook campus -- which includes a school, residential treatment center, playing fields and eight cottages where kids are placed according to age -- typically cares for about 50 children ages 6 to 18 who have suffered a variety of traumas and are coping with emotional and behavioral challenges.

Originally an orphanage established in 1873, Lutherbrook Children's Center was officially opened in the 1960s. Kids there currently receive individual, group and family therapy, along with recreational opportunities for healing from traumas ranging from physical and sexual abuse to witnessing violence and trauma related to being separated from family.

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Throughout the years, Lutherbrook established deep roots in the Addison community -- and faced its share of challenges, with the police and the Department of Child and Family Services regularly called to the facility.

Past Daily Herald reports include battery, assault, fights and disorderly conduct from incidents such as a teen who was chased down and beaten by four of his housemates, staff members being threatened by a juvenile, and kids taking a center van for a joy ride.

Police received more than 570 calls for service to Lutherbrook in 2011 and 2012, the Daily Herald reported previously. Among the cases investigated during that time were 13 batteries, three domestic batteries, an attempted suicide, three aggravated assaults, three assaults, one unlawful use of a weapon, 18 disorderly conducts, two fights/riots and 170 runaways.

Between Jan. 1 and Oct. 31 in 2015, there were 294 calls for service to Addison police from Lutherbrook, authorities said. In comparison, there were 171 calls for service in that same period in 2014.

In 2015, a staff member was charged with misdemeanor battery after he was accused of smacking a teenage boy across the face during an argument

Lutheran Child and Family Services is a nonprofit social service agency that nurtures and protects children, strengthens families and enhances communities of all faiths races, orientations and ethnic backgrounds.

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