Social Service Programs

The Circuit Court of Cook County Social Service Department offers a variety of programs and services to support litigants and their families. An overview of several of these programs can be found below.

Contact the Social Service Department at (773) 674-6062 with any questions.

Empowerment Parenting Program

The 25-hour parenting curriculum is designed for court-mandated parents. Empowerment Parenting is a program that accepts where parents are without judgment and takes them through the process of understanding their own needs first and then the needs of their children. Parents are taught how to meet their own basic needs responsibly and then learn skills to help their children meet their needs in a responsible way. These groups are conducted virtually two times per year. The Social Service Department has been conducting parenting groups using this curriculum for both Adult Probation and Social Service Department mandated clients since 2017. 

Victim Impact Panels

Victim Impact Panels are hosted and coordinated by the Social Service Department. The Alliance Against Intoxicated Motorists (AAIM) is the current contracted provider of VIP speakers for all panels. All clients ordered to attend panels through the Social Service Department (SSD), Adult Probation Department (APD), or out of county or state will be eligible to attend upon payment of assessed fees. VIP’s are held in-person monthly at the Criminal Court Administration Building and at all five suburban municipal district courthouses in both English and Spanish. Victim Impact Panels focus on the behavior without attacking the person, help clients internalize the effects of their crimes, and inspire long-term changes in attitudes and behavior.