Market Overview

Ada S. McKinley Community Services Sees Dramatic Increase of 33% in Youth Referrals to Its Foster Care Program; Boosts Efforts to Recruit Foster Parents


Chicago, Illinois, Nov. 16, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Ada S. McKinley Community Services, one of the largest human service and education providers in Illinois, is seeing a 33 percent increase in the number of youth cases needing foster parents since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, and is launching a new effort during the Holiday Season to urge eligible people to become foster parents. With the cancellation of face-to-face meetings and concerns about the spread of the Coronavirus, recruiting traditional and specialized foster parents has become more difficult. 

"We need loving people to open their hearts and homes to help these children. They are the unseen victims of COVID-19 who've faced the trauma of being removed from their homes in the midst of the pandemic," said Jamal Malone, CEO of Ada S. McKinley Community Services. 

"Currently there are not enough licensed foster parents to help the youth who come to us. The foster parents who bring these children into their homes say it's a rewarding experience to help a child in need," said Malone.  

Malone assures potential foster parents that very extensive COVID-19 precautions are taken before placing children in homes. Ada S. McKinley Community Services also has a unique history for supporting foster children through other programs including Head Start Early Learning Centers and our nationally renowned College Placement Program which has placed over 70,000 youth in more than 400 U.S. colleges and universities. 

Sandra Minter is a foster parent who strongly encourages potential foster parents to attend an orientation class. She's serving an eight-year-old girl with special needs, whom Minter describes as "a delight."

"My third grader faced emotional challenges when I welcomed her to my home, and they are pretty much manageable. She has brought life back into my life. This child is a joy to be with. It's rewarding just to know I'm helping somebody who needs help and cannot help themselves. All you need is the heart to do it. It's not hard at all," said Minter. 

Ada S. McKinley also operates an Emergency Foster Care Shelter on Chicago's South Side, staffed 24 hours-a-day with professional Foster Parents for emergency placements. The shelter is one of just two emergency shelters in Chicago, and one of only five in Illinois. 

Individuals interested in becoming foster parents can learn more by calling the Ada S. McKinley Community Services' Foster Parent Recruitment Hotline at 773-602-2660 ext. 3243 or attending online orientation classes scheduled for November 18, 2020 at 11 a.m., December 2, 2020 at 11 a.m., January 13, 2021 at 11 a.m.  

Those interested in donating to Ada S. McKinley can donate via this LINK.  

About Ada S. McKinley Community Services

Ada S. McKinley Community Services is one of Chicago's largest, most respected and impactful Human Services organizations. Serving more than 7,000 people annually at over 70 program sites in the Chicago metropolitan area, Wisconsin and Indiana, Ada S. McKinley Community Services' wide-ranging programs fall under the umbrellas of child development and youth, employment and community support, and behavioral health and clinical. The 101-year old nonprofit was founded during the Spanish Flu Pandemic with a mission to serve African American World War I veterans who were denied government services, and to help southern families fleeing to Chicago during the Great Migration. The organization's mission is to empower, educate and employ people to change lives and strengthen communities. 

For more information and updates on how the agency continues to meet the needs of people affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, please visit and follow us on Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn and Instagram


Michelle Damico
Michelle Damico Communications
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