Innovative Approaches

Our Children’s Homestead is taking on some of Northern Illinois’ most traumatized foster youth.  Our individualized and innovative approaches set us apart from traditional foster care programs. OCH succeeds when others cannot.

Team Approach:
OCH immerses each child in services designed to help him or her succeed. One Child One Dream means that we consider each child, and we support his or her unique needs. After placing a child in foster care, we continue to provide physical, mental, behavioral, and developmental support services.

OCH intends to be the last stop, ending the cycle of re-homing in the system, and instead works tirelessly to find permanent, loving homes.

OCH leaders advocate for innovation changing laws, regulations and perceptions.

Continuous Quality Improvement:
Continuous Quality Improvement (CQI) is an ongoing organizational process in which all staff members are involved with identifying, planning and implementing various improvements in the delivery of the services we provide. It is also a process of using internal and external data to assist in the decisions made to create an environment in which the administration and staff work collaboratively to improve in all areas of our organization. Our decisions are based upon our guiding principles of:

• Leadership - We value, respect, and recognize that rotating leadership is essential to our agency’s culture in that everyone is involved in advancing new ideas, promoting change, and taking action towards quality improvement throughout the organization.
• Satisfaction - We understand the importance of not only meeting but exceeding the needs of our consumers, stakeholders, and employees. We will accomplish this through listening to and addressing the needs in a respectful manner that builds upon strengths. Achieving a high level of customer/consumer satisfaction is a key indicator of our operational performance.
• Risk Management - We will practice due diligence in determining, minimizing, or eliminating the likelihood of harm to clients, staff, and the agency as a whole. 
• Fiscal Responsibility - We are aware that, in order to maintain a high level of operational excellence, we must be financially strong, adaptable, and responsive. Our consumers and stakeholders should be able to rely on us in good times and bad. We are entrusted with using public resources to provide quality services. We carefully develop priorities based on our clients’ needs, legal responsibilities, and cost-effective methods.
• Quality of Care - In acknowledging that we work with a high-risk population, we also acknowledge that caring for this population requires special skills and knowledge. We are committed to providing a continuum of training to ensure our staff are well trained in understanding how to provide a safe, nurturing and caring environment for our clients. The quality of care we provide will be judged according the following elements:
• The completeness of information given to our clients
• The quality of the interpersonal relationships we develop with clients, stakeholders and peers
• Selecting the best intervention with a focus on providing the right care at the right time
• Communications - We foster effective, straightforward communications along with mutual respect both outside and inside of the agency. 
• Accountability – We, as an agency, are accountable to the clients we serve and stakeholders we collaborate with. These assumptions of responsibility are fundamental in our actions, decisions and policies which channel our day-to-day work.

Who is involved in Continuous Quality Improvement?
• Families we serve
• Employees, volunteers & consultants
• Members of advisory boards
• All levels of agency staff

What are the goals of Continuous Quality Improvement?
• Guide quality operations
• Ensure safe environment & high quality of services
• Meet external standards and regulations from our funder(s) and the Council on Accreditation
• Assist agency programs and services to meet annual goals & objectives

What is measured to achieve these goals?
• Functioning of operations that influence the organization's capacity to deliver services
• Quality of service delivery
• Program results
• Client satisfaction
• Client outcomes

What are the steps in the Continuous Quality Improvement process?
• Step 1  Identify a need/issue/problem and develop a problem statement.
• Step 2  Define the current situation - break down problem into component parts, identify major problem areas, develop a target improvement goal.
• Step 3  Analyze the problem - identify the root causes of the problem and use charts and diagrams as needed.
• Step 4  Develop an action plan - outline ways to correct the root causes of the problem, specific actions to be taken, identify who, what, when and where.
• Step 5  Look at the results - confirm that the problem and its root causes have decreased, identify if the target has been met and display results in graphic format before and after the change.
• Step 6  Start over - go back to the first step and use the same process for the next problem.

For more information about Continuous Quality Improvement, please contact Annette Gannaway, at or (630) 369-0004.

Foster Parent Bill of Rights Implementation Law Plan:
Our Children’s Homestead provides all Foster Parents with a Bill of Rights that is updated annually by a team of both Foster Parents and staff. Click here to view/download the document.