Loyola Children’s Center opens today in Maywood court facility
Released on 5/11/2012 12:47:23 PM

Circuit Court of Cook County Chief Judge Timothy C. Evans was joined today by Dr. Anthony L. Barbato, President and Chief Executive Officer of Loyola University Health System, for the official opening of the Loyola Children’s Center at Maywood in the Fourth Municipal District Courthouse in west suburban Maywood, Illinois. The Loyola Children’s Center is the first court-based program in the nation to offer medical and childlife programs for children and families attending court.

“The Loyola Children’s Center at Maywood continues the mission of the court’s Children’s Advocacy Room program by providing a full spectrum of voluntary social and medical services to children and families residing in the communities served by the court’s Fourth Municipal District,” said Chief Judge Evans.

Chief Judge Evans praised Cook County Board President John H. Stroger, Jr., for supporting the court’s unprecedented partnership with Loyola University Health System that led to the development of the state-of-the-art facility. “The opening of the Loyola Children’s Center at Maywood keeps the Circuit Court of Cook County at the national forefront in the provision of court-based child services. I am grateful to President Stroger and the members of the Cook County Board of Commissioners for their sensitivity to meeting the special needs of children and families served by the court,” said Chief Judge Evans. The Cook County Board of Commissioners provided funding for extensive renovations to create the center.

The Loyola Children’s Center at Maywood is the newest of eight Children’s Advocacy Rooms operating throughout Circuit Court of Cook County facilities. The rooms are safe and welcoming places staffed full-time by childcare professionals for use by children of persons having business in the courthouses. The Children’s Advocacy Rooms spare children the ordeal of going to court with their caregivers and being exposed to potentially damaging testimony related to domestic violence, divorce, and other potentially distressing issues.

In addition to providing a safe haven for children of parents having business with the court, the Loyola Children’s Center at Maywood will also provide medical and other evaluations free of charge by Loyola professionals on a voluntary and confidential basis. Services will be available to children from newborns to twelve years of age. The center will also offer a curriculum that includes targeted learning techniques, a computer laboratory, art education, reading improvement, and other life skills. The center will be jointly staffed by pediatric social work specialists and a childlife specialist from Loyola along with court personnel. The program and staff models were developed with experts from Loyola in collaboration with their counterparts in the court’s Children’s Advocacy Rooms.

In addition, the Loyola Mobile Medical Unit Van will be stationed at the Fourth Municipal District Courthouse in Maywood on Friday afternoons to provide free health screenings to anyone coming to the courthouse.