One Hope United Adds COO to Leadership Team

One Hope United has announced that on March 2nd, Antwan Turpeau will join the organization as Chief Operating Officer.

Antwan Turpeau has served as an Associate Deputy Director within the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services, since February 2017, creating the Office of Delinquency Prevention. In that role, he oversaw the Shelter System, Human Trafficking Unit, and Dually Involved Youth Unit. Prior to his service at DCFS, Turpeau founded the nonprofit organization, Struggling Youth Equals Successful Adults, that focused on keeping older foster youth connected to support and resources through the age of 25.

“Antwan brings a personal passion, academic achievement, and many years of program delivery experience to One Hope United,” said Dr. Charles A. Montorio-Archer, President and CEO of One Hope United. “We are very fortunate to have him join our leadership team and lend his expertise to our agency’s strategic direction.”

At OHU, Turpeau will lead its Residential/Day Treatment Services, Early Learning and Child Development programs, Counseling, Community Based Family Services and One Hope United’s Florida operations, serving nearly 10,000 children and youth in Florida, Illinois, Missouri and Wisconsin.

“I am very excited about being a member of the One Hope United team and family,” Antwan Turpeau said. “Charles’s vision for One Hope United inspired me to join the effort to use the organization’s 125-year-old foundation to build up and advance the children, families and staff we serve at OHU. It is my passion to work relentlessly to improve the quality of life of others who are in need of equal opportunities, excellent educational experiences, and high performing community-based services.”

Turpeau earned his Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Elmhurst College and a Master of Social Work from Loyola University. In 2014, he was honored with Loyola’s Damen Award as social worker of the year.

A Black History Month Message From Our President and CEO, Dr. Charles A. Montorio-Archer

“A people without knowledge of their past history, origin and culture is like a tree without roots.” Marcus Garvey

Since 1976, every U.S. President has officially designated the month of February as Black History Month. This is a time dedicated to reflecting and publicly thanking those African-Americans who have gone before us – showing strength and perseverance for what is right.

We are grateful for our ancestors’ optimistic attitudes, which were difficult to maintain during extremely challenging times in our history. Optimism and believing that things were going to be better have enabled us to move forward toward change. Our ability to believe in ourselves to overcome adversity has been a strength and testament of our will.

Black History is not just about learning about the challenges we as a people have been through. It is about our ability to have integrity, leadership, and determination in the face of our struggles.  Crisis does not necessarily make character, but it certainly helps to reveal it. Adversity creates strength in character and determination. A lesson to learn and celebrate as we chart our continued progress.

Black History month provides us with a moment to celebrate and rejoice in the tremendous changes we have experienced. At the same time, it is imperative that we recommit and learn from our past as to what has worked successfully so we can clearly identify what we still need to do. We want to take our rich history and reach beyond to inspire the next generations to continue to create and sustain positive change. This applies to working in human services- such as providing foster care, adoption, and other family and children support services.

As the President and CEO of a non-profit that serves over 10,000 diverse children and families, I am wholeheartedly determined to effect positive change. We must demand equity for all – regardless of race, ethnicity, different abilities, sexual orientation, or family composition. We all have the same inalienable rights and working together we can continue to achieve momentous success.  We at One Hope United are taking the opportunity to start the dialog about diversity and inclusion, at the upcoming Hope Academy sessions for our staff members.

As I look at areas that affect the populations who we serve at One Hope United, there has been some progress made for Black children in foster care. From 2007 to 2017, according to the Child Welfare Foster Care Statistics report published in 2017:

  • The number of Black children in foster care dropped from 31% to 23%
  • The number of Black children entering foster care dropped from 26% to 21%
  • However, the rate of Black children exiting foster care during the same 10-year period, dropped from 27% to 21%

In the education sector, according to a report from the Postsecondary National Policy Institute:

  • For Blacks, aged 25 to 29, only 23% held a bachelor’s degree in 2018, a growth of only 5% from 2000. In comparison, white students aged 25 to 29, during that same period, the number of who attained a bachelor’s degree, rose from 34% to 44%.

Along with foster care, and education, poverty is another area of concern. The poverty rate among Blacks is the highest of any racial or ethnic group; in 2018, the rate of poverty was 20.8%, according to census data. By comparison, the overall U.S. poverty rate in 2018 was 11.8%.

Representation in executive leadership is another area where we are under-represented. In a report from Race to Lead, published in 2017, less than 20% of nonprofits are led by people of color. And, only 3.2% of senior leadership roles at large companies in the U.S. are filled by Black people.

As African Americans we have come together to improve our communities and cities. There is still much to do. In our uncertain world, I take the challenge personally and professionally to accelerate change through respect and collaboration. I believe that success can be achieved with consensus leadership. Through partnerships, associations, collaborations, and teamwork- we increase our value together to unify and succeed.

Black History month still matters. Celebrating and studying Black History is part of American History. It is critical to our understanding our progress as a nation, recommitting ourselves and our leadership to celebrating and effecting positive change to making the world a better place for all. It is time to realize that the recognition of our history shouldn’t be limited to one month but celebrated year-round.

Hope In Action Gala

On October 24, One Hope United’s Board of Directors will host its signature fundraising event, the Hope In Action Gala. The theme this year is “A Legacy of Life Without Limits” which celebrates and recognizes the organization’s 125 years of impacting, serving, and investing in children and families.

The event will be held at the Epiphany Center For The Arts, at 201 S. Ashland Ave. The building, which is the site of the historic Church of the Epiphany, is currently being restored, and will be a center for entertainment, events, and art.

This year, One Hope United will recognize Jeanne Ward and Bill Taylor, with the Leadership in Giving Award, and Joyce and Rich Heneberry, with the Ermit Finch Impact Award.

After Hope In Action, the official after-event, Hope After Dark, which is hosted by the One Hope United Chicago Ambassador Board, will be held in the downstairs event space at Epiphany Center For The Arts.

Please visit https://onehopeinaction.org/ for more information about the program, to sponsor the event, or to purchase tickets to attend.

One Hope United Presents Its Second Annual Duck Derby

One Hope United Kicks Off  “Where’s Waddle” Campaign for Second Annual Duck Derby.

What is a Duck Derby? Duck Derby puts the “fun” in fundraising! OHU’s Duck Derby benefits One Hope United and Florida’s Osceola County Public Schools. As our second year participating in the Duck Derby, supporters from OHU and the OCPS system will race to get as many ducks adopted as possible prior to Derby Day on February 1, 2020.

You can purchase ducks for $5 each or in fun packs where you can buy more at one time. Each duck adopted directly enhances OHU’s services to create limitless lives for the children and families we serve in Florida and in communities across multiple states. $1 goes to OCPS for every duck that gets adopted and the remaining proceeds will go to OHU.

The Duck Derby also benefits families in Osceola County, sharing the joy and excitement of a friendly duck race, but also championing a philanthropic cause that supports local children and families.

Before the big race, our ducks will be traveling all around the world in our search of “Where’s Waddle”. Stay tuned for their latest whereabouts by following their journey on our Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram pages.

 

 

 

About One Hope United
One Hope United is a private human service organization that offers a diverse array of prevention, intervention and community-based programs including early education, foster care, adoption, residential, and other support services. What began in 1895 as a children’s home in Chicago now serves over 10,000 children and families each year in Florida, Illinois, Michigan and Wisconsin, and employs over 800 passionate and talented professionals. For more information, please visit http://www.onehopeunited.org.

One Hope United Hosts ‘Foster Boy’ Screening and Talkback

One Hope United partnered last week with attorney and producer/writer Jay Paul Deratany to host a screening of his new film, Foster Boy, followed by a talkback and reception.

Foster Boy tells the story of an African American teenager who was physically and sexually abused by an older foster care teen after the two were placed in the same home by a for-profit foster care company.

View the event photos on our Facebook page here

As a nonprofit agency providing foster care services, One Hope United hosted the screening to share the powerful film with its supporters and bring attention to the danger that arises when organizations put profits ahead of children’s well-being.

“A child is not a commodity,” Deratany told a capacity audience at the Pritzker Military Museum and Library. “You have to give a kid a chance. You have to give them some hope.”

The movie was inspired by three true foster care abuse cases in which Deratany was involved and stars Matthew Modine as the attorney and Academy Award-winner Louis Gossett Jr. as the judge. Basketball legend Shaquille O’Neal, a child advocate himself who took a special interest in the movie’s topic, is an executive producer.

In the talkback, moderator Charles A. Montorio-Archer, President and CEO of One Hope United, asked Deratany about the role of the arts in raising awareness about this and other serious topics.

“We have to tell stories of abuse, we have to tell stories about racial prejudice, we have to tell stories that bring us back together as a country, that unite us again,” Deratany answered. We have to come together to conquer some of the problems that we have.”

Melissa Webster, One Hope United’s Executive Director of Residential and Day Treatment Services, spoke on the panel about the film’s realistic depiction of the effects of trauma on youth.

“One thing that trauma robs from kids is that sense that they have a future,” said Webster. “A big part of what we do is help them find that hope so they can start to see that they’re going to have a future as well, that they have a chance to have a different kind of life.”

“One Hope United does some great work,” Deratany said. “We have to give recognition to a great group like this, because we need to continue to fight for our kids.”

To support children in foster care who have experienced trauma, you may donate to One Hope United here.

 

More Information

Become a One Hope United foster parent.

Visit the Foster Boy website.

Read an interview with Jay Paul Deratany.

Watch a video from the event.

Pathfinders Helps Preschooler Heal From Exposure To Domestic Abuse

Innovative therapeutic program helps preschool children cope with difficult emotions and lead more positive lives.

When Lucy*, 5, first arrived at One Hope United’s Elgin Child & Family Resource Center, she was extremely sensitive to loud noises, covering her ears and experiencing severe anxiety whenever another child would cry out—which, at a child care center, can be often. When she was frustrated or experienced even the slightest discipline, “she would scream at the top of her lungs, as if she were afraid for her life,” pounding on the wall and stomping her feet, her mother, Krista*, explains. “I knew right away I needed help.”

Lucy’s behavior was related to traumas she had experienced as a very young child. She witnessed physical abuse by her biological father toward her mother, and while he never physically harmed Lucy, when she would have tantrums as a 2- and 3-year-old, hewould rush toward her with raised fists in an attempt to make herto stop. “She went through a lot,” Krista says.

While those traumas were fortunately in the past, their effects were disrupting Lucy’s education and potentially that of her classmates. In addition, adverse childhood experiences can have long-term effects on children’s health, behavior, and life potential. It’s for children like Lucy that One Hope United began Pathfinders, a unique program that combines aspects of our family counseling programs with our early childhood education centers to help children cope with negative emotions and adopt healthier behaviors.

Pathfinders therapist Tara Cassidy says the program is a collaboration with the child, their family, and their teacher.

Sometimes it’s the teacher who notices an issue and alerts Tara, who will then engage the child’s family to offer support, which is covered through private insurance or Medicaid. She will observe and engage with the child in the classroom, with their family, and in individual sessions, and craft a treatment plan that often involves the family due to the child’s young age. The evidence-based treatment is called Attachment, Self-Regulation, and Competency.

One boy who was predisposed to depression learned deep breathing and created a book of coping skills. “On one page he put all the things that he liked to do, so if he was feeling down, he could just go in his book and see, ‘I could go ride my bike,I could go take a walk,’ things that would help him get out of a low mood,” Tara says.

Another child who struggled with tantrums learned to express her emotions and tell her loved ones why she was upset. Her coping skills included coloring and walking the dog—a therapy dog that was part of her treatment. Tara also taught her family to recognize when the girl needed help and step in with an activity. “Because they’re so young, sometimes they don’t just say, ‘I need to go use a coping skill,’” she says.

It’s important to make the sessions and treatment fun so the kids will want to continue. “They may think we’re just playing, but we’re really doing therapy,” Tara says. “If they don’t have fun, they won’t want to be there, and they won’t learn as much. People learn better when they’re enjoying it.”

Krista says that Lucy is “a completely different little girl” as a result of Pathfinders. Through the program, Lucy has increased her self-esteem, developed confidence, grown more talkative,made more friends, and no longer covers her ears at loud noises. “I can’t say enough how amazing the program has been for my daughter. It changed her life and gave her the chance for a much better life altogether.”

Pathfinders is also offered One Hope United’s Aurora Early Learning Center and Joliet Early Learning Center, and could expand to more, which Tara would be happy to see. “This is the first program I’ve been in where the kids are so little, and it’s great,” she says. “The earlier you help them, the better off they’ll be.”

*Name has been changed.

One Hope United Honored at 2019 Illinois Centennial Awards

JACKSONVILLE, IL – As we prepare to enter our 125th year,  One Hope United was honored at Illinois State Historical Society’s 35th annual Centennial Business Awards luncheon at Jacksonville’s Hamilton’s Catering and banquet hall facility.

“It is an honor and privilege to recognize and celebrate the achievement of these unique businesses and organizations that have achieved the centennial milestone,” said ISHS executive director William Furry. “Fewer than 10 percent of all corporations survive 100 years, and those that do have done so with great sacrifice. They have also persevered economic downturns, recessions, personal losses, and enormous changes in the industry. Their resilience, and not a little luck, made all the difference. To each of them, we extend our best wishes for the next 100 years.”
Representatives from each of the recipients Centennial Award businesses received a certificate with the ISHS Centennial Seal signed by President Dan Monroe and Executive Director William Furry. Tim Snowden, Executive Director for Community Based Family Services, accepted the award on One Hope United’s behalf.

Other businesses that received the Centennial Business Award for 2019 are:

Schmale Insurance Company
Loyola Press
American Legion Post 279
Bound to Stay Bound Books
Hamilton’s Catering
Routt Catholic High School
Western Illinois University
Petersburg Monument Company
Blessing-Rieman College of Nursing and Health Sciences
Rock Island Public Library
The Village of Rochester
Illinois Education Association
Cover Insurance Company
Stark County Old Settlers Association
Wyoming Monument Company
Chisolm Boyd, & White Company
State Bank of Lakes
J.C. Schultz Enterprises, Inc.
Egyptian Workplace Partners
U.A.S. Local 99 Plumbers and Pipefitters
Buena Vista National Bank
House of Glunz
Fox River Grove
Mason County Democrat
Zenith Electronics, L.L.C.
Roseview Flowers
H.J. Eppel and Company, Inc.
Anderson’s Candy Company, Inc.
Scot Forge
Randolph Mutual Insurance

About One Hope United

One Hope United is a private human service organization that offers a diverse array of prevention, intervention and community-based programs including early education, foster care, adoption, residential, and other support services. What began in 1895 as a children’s home in suburban Chicago now serves 10,000 children and families each year in Illinois, Wisconsin, Missouri, and Florida and employs nearly 800 passionate and talented professionals. For more information, please visit http://www.onehopeunited.org.

75 Champaign-Area Youth to Receive Foster Care Services Through One Hope United

ABOVE: (From Left to Right) One Hope United Champaign employees Carla Bradford, Elizabeth Stonum, Karen Kietzmann, Katie Arnold, Laken Waltz and Myriam Molina

CHAMPAIGN, IL – One Hope United is now providing foster care services to 75 youth in four Central Illinois Counties,  to ensure they are properly cared for in their transitional foster home and to help them achieve a permanent home, whether they are returned their birth parents, another guardian, or an adoptive family. The new services cover the counties of Champaign, Ford, Iroquois, and Vermilion.

One Hope United, with offices throughout Illinois, Missouri, Wisconsin and Florida, is widely respected throughout Central Illinois as a high-quality provider of foster care services, including its strong track record of helping youth find permanent homes. In nearby Charleston, where One Hope United has provided services for decades, the organization currently exceeds the goals set by child welfare officials to find permanent families for youth in foster care.

To encourage potential foster parents to learn about One Hope United, the organization is welcoming the community to an Open House on Friday, August 2nd, from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m. at 1902 Fox Drive, Suite E, Champaign, Illinois (217-850-0500). Community members are invited to drop in, meet the staff, enjoy light refreshments, and learn more about the services, including the process of becoming a foster parent or family.

“There is a shortage of foster parents nationwide, and we want to encourage more individuals and couples to become foster moms and dads,” said Charles A. Montorio-Archer, President and CEO of One Hope United.  “Our new presence in the Champaign area reflects our vision: For every child and family, a life without limits,” said Montorio-Archer.

“Foster parents play an indispensable role in helping our children reach permanency,” says Lindsey Hoover, director of One Hope United’s foster care programs in Charleston and now Champaign. “Through their patience, love and compassion, they provide a safe and secure environment for the children we serve.” Foster parents may also be a permanency option themselves, Hoover adds, as foster care can be a path to adoption.

Champaign-area individuals and families interested in fostering who cannot attend the open house should contact One Hope United’s licensing manager, Myriam Molina, at mmolina1@onehopeunited.org or 217-508-6388.

To get acquainted with area residents, One Hope United employees, supporters, and youth will participate in Run Mahomet on Saturday, August 3, 2019. For the second straight year, the “Run Hope United” team will run the race benefitting the Mahomet Area Youth Club.

“Last year’s ‘Run Hope United’ was a great way for the One Hope United community to bond while supporting a cause that we all believe in – children,” says Tim Snowden, Executive Director of Community-Based Family Services, which include foster care. “We are thrilled to be participating in Run Mahomet for the second year, this time as a service provider in the community.”

Race attendees and spectators are encouraged to say hello to the Run Hope United team and learn how they can support area children through the organization’s foster care program.

About One Hope United

One Hope United is a private human service organization that offers a diverse array of prevention, intervention and community-based programs including early education, foster care, adoption, residential, and other support services. What began in 1895 as a children’s home in suburban Chicago now serves 9,000 children and families each year in Illinois, Wisconsin, Missouri, and Florida and employs nearly 800 passionate and talented professionals. For more information, please visit http://www.onehopeunited.org.

Florida Case Manager Named Reunification Hero!

Victor Sims, Case Manager Lead in Florida, was recognized as a Reunification Hero by the American Bar Association Children and Law.

Sims was nominated by one of his clients who gave him credit with her reunification with her children. She recalled how “he brought my kids home when no one knew a way to make it happen” and said that “he has continually been a champion for change.”

His experience in the child welfare system began while spending the first 11 years of his life in foster care. Fortunately, Sims was adopted into a loving family and his experience in foster care is what motivated him to pursue a career as a case manager at One Hope United in Florida. While reunification was not possible for him and his parents, today Sims makes reunification his priority with every family that he serves.

He prioritizes strengthening  families’ so children can return home safely as soon as possible. Sims strives to understand the root causes of the parents’ problems so that they overcome their barriers to success. He does an excellent job of using innovative techniques that will help families continually succeed after their case has ended.

Read Full Article Here on America Bar Association

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Florida Couple Adopts Two Kids Into Their Forever Family

Executive Pastor Chad Dillon Was Certain He Didn’t Want To Become A Foster Parent. His Wife Adriane Was Equally Sure She Did.

After seven years of trying to have a biological child, the Dillon’s longed for a family and had always had a desire to adopt—being able to provide a child with a forever family. But they weren’t completely in agreement about fostering children. In early 2014, they enrolled in PRIDE classes. 

The Dillon’s took the classes with another couple, their best friends, and since PRIDE covers both adoption and fostering in their county, participants could choose to do either, or both. During the classes, the couple had heard horrific stories about children in their community being abused and neglected, in which Chad came to realize that his hesitancy to foster was nothing short of selfishness where the attention was on him and not on the children who need and deserve to be loved unconditionally. His attitude had completely changed and he told his wife,

“We will foster as long as we can agree on one thing—to put the best interest of every child that comes into our care above our own and the moment that we cannot do that, we get out so that we are never a part of the problem.”

So, after this realization, he and his wife without hesitation continued their classes and were ready to enter the world of fostering where they were ready to embrace every child that came their way with love and as their own. They received their license on November 4, 2014. To their shock, they received a call on the same day about a seven-day-old baby girl who needed a foster home. They said yes, and on November 6, 2014, they welcomed Hilary Rose into their loving arms, and adding her older brother Christopher into their home in June of 2016. 

The Dillon’s have fostered two other children to-date as well—but they knew they wanted to do more for parents like them. In January 2016, Chad assisted in the launch of a brand new foster and adoptive children’s association in their county and was quickly introduced to OHU. They immediately felt welcomed by the staff, especially the Executive Director for their county—Eva Horner. Chad and Eva have had several discussions about ways to improve the system of care in Florida, especially their county. In April of 2014, Chad was voted in as the President of the Osceola Foster and Adoptive Children’s Association. To date, they have seen over 50 people attend and recently have had 17 foster and/or adoptive families become official members. The monthly association meetings are hosted at their church—Freedom Life Church. 

As President, Chad has addressed issues of foster care parent retention, co-parenting, creating stronger relationships among licensing agencies, the Department of Children and Families, and foster/adoptive parents, as well as changing the reputation and perception of the foster care system. “People ultimately fear the unknown,” says Chad, “But we believe the work we’re doing in Osceola County can spread throughout the state of Florida and change people’s hearts and minds about child welfare.” “The lack of awareness is one of the biggest issues we face. People simply need to see the need and be given the opportunity to meet it, but it has to be presented in a positive way and must come from a heart of compassion because people gravitate towards passion.” He strives to motivate and encourage anyone who involves themselves in the child welfare system to have and keep the right heart motive, where the focus is on making sure that every decision is about the child’s best interest and never the adult’s (whether foster parent, bio-parent, bio-relative, agency worker, adoptive parent, etc.). 

Chad lost his own father on November 6, 2002, exactly 22 years to the day that he and his wife welcomed their first foster child (who became their forever daughter) into their home. Now that day takes on a whole new meaning. Another significant day in the Dillon’s life? September 12, 2016, the day Hilary Rose and Christopher David were officially adopted into their forever.