Adoptive Families Today, adoptive families support group, children’s activities and monthly parent discussion groups, also offers Crossing the Colorline, a support group for transracial adoptive families, (847) 382-0858, www.adoptivefamiliestoday.org.
Biracial Family Network (BFN), a nonprofit multiracial family support group whose mission is to educate people about the multiracial experience. Meets the second Saturday of each month. Offers meetings, activities, newsletter and resources, (773) 288-3644, www.bfnchicago.org.
The Jewish Children's Bureau (JCB), a non-sectarian child care agency providing educational, developmental and mental health services to children and their families throughout metropolitan Chicago, (312) 444-2090, www.jcbchicago.org.
Jewish Family & Community Services, includes Virginia Frank Child Development Center, which offers therapeutic nursery kindergarten, social services with a focus on prevention, and consultation, education and training, (773) 761-6426.
La Leche League, offers support and information for mothers who wish to breastfeed, www.lalecheleague.org.
Metropolitan Family Services, offers a comprehensive range of services and programs for families throughout Chicago and the suburbs, provides support in the areas of child and youth development, counseling and mental health, child welfare, family economic development, legal aid, and services for older adults and their families. (312) 986-4000, www.metrofamily.org.
Mothers & More, national support organization for mothers with several Chicago chapters, (630) 941-3553, www.mothersandmore.org.
Northside Parents Network, non-profit, all volunteer parenting organization, presents workshops for parents, elementary and preschool fairs, (312) 409-2233, www.northsideparents.org.
Rogers Park Moms Group, meetings every first and third Tuesday each month throughout the school year, contact Ellen at (773) 764-4131.
Trendee Baby Child Care Referral Services (TBCCR), helps families find in-home childcare services, (773) 388-2247.
BirthLink, offers referrals to parents seeking birthing services, as well as options for birth place and providers, (847) 733-8050, www.birthlink.com.
Kids Masti! Club, playgroup for young kids in the Northwest suburbs, meets weekly in Schaumburg and weekend activities, membership is free, contact Aditie at (224) 595-9205.
Learning Together Parent Education Center, offers speakers, workshops, parenting classes, parent coaching, e-mail tips and a Montessori Parent-Infant program, (847) 567-5873, www.ltpec.org.
Mom-2-Mom, provides support, education and friendship to moms and their families living in the far Northwest suburbs, (847) 289-4554.
North Shore Family Drop-In, offers speakers and weekly open discussions 9:30-11 a.m. Tuesdays, (847) 835-5111.
North Shore Parents’ Resource Network, sponsors free lectures and other events for parents and families, (847) 564-7507, www.MiaSharon.com.
One Plus One Mothers of Multiples (MOMs), support group for mothers and expectant mothers of twins, triplets and more, meets second Monday of every month in Schaumburg, (630) 415-1433, www.oneplusonemoms.org.
Parents Who Care, offers support for parents of children from birth to age 5, as well as events and activities for kids and families, (847) 604-4582, www.parentswhocare.org.
Stars of David, a Jewish adoption information and support network for prospective parents, adoptive families, adult adoptees, birth families and the Jewish community, (847) 509-9929 (Chicago chapter), www.starsofdavid.org.
Toughlove Parent Support Meetings, weekly meetings held Thursdays at 7:30 p.m. in Wilmette, (773) 728-3057.
Young Single Parents, Inc. (YSP), provides support, friendship and social activities for divorced, separated, widowed or never married parents between the ages of 21 and 50, meetings every Thursday evening, (847) 622-3800, www.youngsingleparents.org.
Family Network, parent support agency, (847) 433-0377, www.highlandpark.org/fmnetwk/.
Hadassah Chicago Chapter Training Wheels, a Jewish family education program of crafts, songs, fun and adult discussion for families with young children, for information on Hadassah Chicago Chapter contact Debby, (847) 675-6790.
Lake County Mothers of Twins and More, offers meetings and a support group, meets the fourth Tuesday of every month, (847) 563-3000, ext. 4073.
Youth and Family Counseling, offers mental health counseling and education for parents regardless of their ability to pay, (847) 367-5991.
Coconnections: The Playgroup People provides a startup kit for parents who want to form a playgroup and make connections with other parents, (630) 654-0963.
Double Blessings Mothers of Twins Club, monthly meetings for mothers and mothers-to-be of twins, triplets or more, (630) 213-4025, www.doubleblessingsmotc.com.
Moms’ Place, support group for mothers of young children, contact Peace Lutheran Church, (630) 627-1101, www.peacehome.org.
Mothers of Pre-schoolers (MOPS), meetings for mothers with young children (from birth through kindergarten) at Christ Church of Oak Brook, (630) 910-4850, www.cc-ob.org/mops.htm. To find other MOPS chapters in the Chicago area, visit www.mops.org.
PACES (Parent and Child Education & Support), open to parents of children birth through five years; offers meetings, lectures, seminars, playgroups, outings and more, (630) 916-3190, www.pacesmoms.org.
Parenthesis, offers programs for families and support for parents, including single and teenage parents, (708) 848-2227, www.parenthesis-info.org.
Prevention Task Force holds parent study groups that promote healthy family relationships and communication, (708) 352-1188.
Northwest DuPage Step By Step Early Childhood PTA, provides education and activities for families with young children, newborn to 6-years-old, contact the membership chair at (630) 653-6448, www.stepbysteppta.homestead.com.
Double Love Mothers of Twins Club, support for parents of multiple birth children, contact Kathy at (847) 697-7806 or Sara at (630) 825-7601.
Moms Together, offers programs for mothers of infants through elementary-aged children, also offers evening sessions, (630) 232-7068, ext. 37 or contact Maureen at (630) 761-8602, www.fbcg.com.
MOMS (Moms Offering Moms Support) Club, international support for at-home mothers, offers activities and programs for mothers, playgroups for children and get togethers for families, (815) 834-1582.
Raising Today’s Children works with south suburban school districts and holds events for parents, parent coordinators, family educators and community liasions, (708) 596-2000 ext. 2040, www.raisingtodayschildren.org.
Will County Mothers of Twins Club (WCMOTC), support group for mothers of twins and more, offers playgroups, outings and Mom’s night out, (815) 773-9561, http://pages.ivillage.com/wcmotc/.
SPECIAL NEEDS Chicago
Chicago Southside Autism Support Group (CSASG), provides support and information for families and children with autism, (773) 643-5603, www.csasg.org.
Equip for Equality, provides free self-advocacy assistance for parents of children with disabilities, free legal representation and educational seminars for parents and organizations, (312) 341-0022 or (800) 537-2632, www.equipforequality.org.
Family Resource Center on Disabilities, provides information and support for families, free seminars, Youth Advocacy Project and Parent-To-Parent Training Project, (312) 939-3513 or (800) 952-4199, www.frcd.org.
Parents’ Association for Children with Hemiplegia and/ or Stroke (PACHS), parent meetings every other month and family events, (630) 854-4058, www.pachs.org.
PKIDs (Parents of Kids with Infectious Diseases), website offers information and resources for parents, as well as an on-line workshop to help parents teach their kids how to avoid infections, www.pkids.org.
Tuesday’s Child, provides support and education for parents of all kinds of children, but especially those with special needs or at-risk children, (773) 282-5274, www.buildinghappyfamilies.org.
Answers for Special Kids (ASK), a non-profit organization created to support and educate families of children with special needs or learning differences, meetings the third Thursday of every month, (847) 733-0739, www.answersforspecialkids.org.
Asperger Parent Support Group, meets the first Tuesday of each month in Rolling Meadows, contact Susie at (847) 255-5465.
GiGi’s Playhouse, offers activities for children and adults with Down syndrome, support groups and meetings for parents, and a resource library, (847) 885-PLAY, www.gigisplayhouse.org.
Adult and Child Rehab Center, offers physical, occupational and speech therapy, as well as nursing services, (815) 338-1707.
THE CENTER for Enriched Living, provides skill development and education for greater independence, community integration, recreation and social programs for youth, teens, adults and seniors with developmental disabilities. (847) 948-7001, www.centerforenichedliving.org.
Condell Health Networks Pediatric Alternatives in Creative Therapy (PACT), support group for parents and caregivers of children with special needs, meetings second and fourth Monday of every month, (847) 573-4392, www.condell.org.
Center for Speech and Language Disorders, for parents of children with special needs, support meeting the third Tuesday of the months from September- May, (630) 530-8551, www.csld.org.
Community Support Services, Inc., offers support for people with developmental disabilities and their families, (708) 354-4547, www.communitysupportservices.org.
DuPage Children's Museum, offers a special night for families of children with autism the third Thursday of the month from 5-7 p.m., hosts a different social service agency each week, the museum also offers a family resource center with information and books for children, contact Sandy at (630) 637-8000, ext. 4800, www.dupagechildrensmuseum.org.
Illinois Branch of the International Dyslexia Association, provides referrals to services for individuals with dyslexia, their families and professionals, (630) 469-6900, www.interdys.org.
Blazing Prairie Stars, offers horse-assisted physical, occupational and speech therapies; therapeutic riding; equine-assisted psychotherapy, groups for children and adolescents who have mental health issues or are at risk; groups for children who have a brother or sister with a disability; and social skills groups, (630) 365-5550, www.BPStars.com.
Community Therapy Services, provides speech, occupational, physical, music and animal assisted therapy programs for children with special needs, as well as a support group for parents, (630) 208-8880, www.commtx.com.
Southern Fox Valley Mothers United for Moral Support (MUMS), a non-profit organization dedicated to education about various disabilities (including rare diagnoses and conditions), networking and parent support; dinner meetings the third Tuesday of every month, (630) 554-8989, http://groups.yahoo.com/group/foxvalleymums/.
SPOT 4 Kids, a pediatric therapy center in Oswego, sponsors the MUMS Resource Guide on their Web site--a listing of services and resources for parents and caregivers of special needs children, (630) 554-6165, www.spot4kids.com.
Arts for Autism, annual fund- and awareness-raising event that showcases various performers, (708) 957-7599, www.artsforautism.org.
Giant Steps Illinois, a theraputic day school, offers educational and therapeutic services to children with autism, including workshops and support groups, (630) 455-5730, www.giantstepsillinois.org.
EDUCATION AND SCHOOLS Chicago
The Illinois Early Learning Web site, provides information for parents, caregivers, and teachers of young children in Illinois, http://illinoisearlylearning.org.
The Grow Parent Report, provides parents of Chicago Public School students in grades 4-9 with printed results and recommendations based on their child's most recent standardized exam and additional resources to help their child grow, www.growparents.com.
Language Stars, a foreign language immersion program in Spanish, French, Italian and German, also offers summer immersion camps for young children, (866) 55-STARS, www.languagestars.com.
Adler Institute of Music within the David Adler Cultural Center, offers individual music instruction for students of all ages on piano, strings, voice, guitar and woodwinds in the traditional and suzuki methods, as well as Kindermusik, Beginning Suzuki Violin, Beginning Suzuki Piano, Music Theory and String Ensembles. During the summer months Art and Drama Camps are offered to children ages 5 to 12, (847) 367-0707.
Happy Child Studios, a music and movement studio for families with classes and events, (847) 733-9545, www.happychildstudios.com.
Gaia’s KidSign Club, monthly sessions for kids, hearing and deaf, who are interested in sign language, (847) 604-1870, www.kidsignclub.com.
Saturday Enrichment Program (SEP), offers courses in the arts, sciences, math and humanities for academically-talented P-K to ninth grade students, (847) 491-3782, www.ctd.northwestern.edu.
Building B.L.O.C.K.S. (Building Learning Opportunities for Caregivers and Kids), an educational series for parents and their children ages 1-3, (847) 990-5800, www.condell.org/day-care/.
Wildwood Presbyterian Church Preschool, programs for 3-5 year-olds, registration in February, a young three program runs January-May, (847) 223-0186, http://www.wildwood.presbychurch.org/preschool/.
Partners in Play, offers gym, music and arts and crafts classes for children 6-weeks to 6-years-old, (708) 386-2788, www.partners-in-play.org.
Peter Pan Learning Centers, 5 locations offer programs for children 6 months- 8 years, extended daycare from 6:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Monday to Friday, contact Mari Anna at (630) 357-0733, www.preschools.net.
Aurora University Young Scholars, camp programs and Saturday classes for preschool to high school students, (630) 8GIFTED, www.packerfoundation.org.
Learning Tree Preschool, for children ages 2-5, open registration in February, NAEYC accredited, (815) 459-8055, www.LearningTreePreschool.org.
Prairie State Homeschoolers, provides parents with a network to share information about homeschooling, (630) 554-1131.
Grassroots Homeschoolers, support for homeschooling families, contact Arlene at 708-720-1637,Ann at 773-779-6888 or Karen at 708-388-1496, www.grassrootshomeschoolers.org.
LECTURES AND WORKSHOPS North/Northwest
Parent University, annual event the first Saturday in November that includes workshop for parents, contact the Northbrook Citizens for Drug and Alcohol Awareness at (847) 272-7870.
Redesigning Your New Midlife, for women rearing children and experiencing perimenopause at the same time, offers individual and group sessions for midlife women, (847) 853-8814.
Parent University, daylong program with workshops and education on parenting issues, hosted by Lyons Township High School in February, (708) 579-6507, www.lths.net.
Check with local hospitals. Many offer numerous classes, workshops and seminars for parents.
Blue Bow Campaign, raise awareness about child abuse prevention during the month of April, (847) 998-9950.
Child & Family Counseling Center (CFCC), offers parent education, bridges, prevention services, 773-769-0205.
Feeding Philosophies-A Customized Approach To Your Child's Nutritional Health, registered dietitian, meets privately with families to discuss a variety of topics such as introduction of solid foods, breastfeeding, picky toddlers and weight control in children. Group seminars and private grocery tours scheduled. Medela breastpumps and accessories available. (773) 525-0292.
Heart Savers & Educators Inc., offers CPR, First Aid, safety classes, parent health seminars and new mom classes, (773) 848-7080, www.cpr-educator.com.
Jewish Council For Youth Services, (JCYS), serving the developmental needs of Jewish children, their families and the community, (312) 726-8891, www.jcys.org.
National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA), offers resources and programs for parents and families, www.nationaleatingdisorders.org.
RESOLVE Parenting After Infertility (PAI), addresses the needs of families raising children after experiencing infertility, (773) 472-3710, www.resolveofillinois.org.
Talking with Children about War, website resource from the University of Illinois, http://web.aces.uiuc.edu/familylife/war.htm.
Cancer Wellness Center, offers a full range of free psychosocial support services, resources and educational opportunities to cancer survivors and their families. (847) 509-9595 or Toll free (866) 292-9355, www.cancerwellness.org.
The Josselyn Center, offers interdisciplinary mental health and related services, including many support groups for children, (847) 441-5600, www.josselyn.org.
The Lilac Tree: Women in Transition, Inc., provides support and resources for women going through the divorce process, (847) 328-0313, www.lilactree.org.
Rainbow Hospice, Rainbow Hospice provides grief support groups and workshops, including the Good Mourning Program which offers a monthly support group, short-term groups and services for children, teens and their families who have lost a loved on through death, (847) 685-9900, www.rainbowhospice.org.
The Salvation Army Community Counseling Center, offers a self-esteem support group for women, (847) 885-4060, www.salarmychicago.org.
Community Care Options, comprehensive mental health services for children and families, (708) 795-4800, www.ccoptions.org.
Nutrition for Optimal Health Association (NOHA), offers lectures, classes, audio and videotapes, and publications on nutritional health, 847-60HEALTH, www.nutrition4health.org.
Our Children’s Homestead, the agency offers foster care, conversion and international adoption, respite care, mentoring and outreach, as well as volunteer and mentoring opportunities, (630) 369-0004, www.ourchildrenshomestead.org.
Parents of Children Having Allergies (POCHA), support group for parents in the western suburbs and Chicago, meets the second Monday of every other month, (708) 383-8571.
Children’s Birthday Project, serves 800 low-income children in DuPage and Kane counties with a large birthday box and gifts at Christmas, ideas for ways to help through donations of new toys, books and party supplies or through volunteering can be found on their website, (630) 231-1542, www.humanitarianservice.org.
Community Therapy Services, offers speech-language pathology, occupational, physical, and music therapies, and family support, (630) 208-8880, www.commtx.com.
Forest Preserve District of Will County Prairie People, volunteer program has opportunities for families and individuals. Activities include seed collecting, planting, brush removal and clean-up. For additional volunteer opportunity information or to register for an activity call Renee, (815) 727-8700 , www.fpdwc.org.
Oak Lawn Park District offers many support groups, including M.S. support and ADHD support, (708) 857-2200, www.olparks.com.