You may have many questions as you consider Children’s Habilitation Center for the care of your child. This page contains the ones we receive most frequently. If you have other questions, please Contact Us, and we will be happy to answer them.

What is habilitation?
Habilitation is the lifelong improvement of a medical condition that will never dissipate or be cured. It is not the same as rehabilitation.

Here is an in-depth explanation of habilitative services (from the state of California):
Medically necessary healthcare services and devices that assist an individual in partially or fully acquiring or improving skills and functioning and that are necessary to address a health condition, to the maximum extent practical. These services address the skills and abilities needed to function in the individual’s environment.

What is subacute care?
Subacute care is skilled nursing care needed by a patient who does not require hospital care, but is more intensive than provided to most patients in a skilled nursing facility.

Pediatric subacute care is care given to medically fragile children in which medical technology, such as tracheotomy care and intravenous tube feeding, compensates for the loss of a vital bodily function.

What is a tracheostomy or tracheotomy?
The Mayo Clinic describes a tracheostomy as a surgically created hole through the front of the neck and into the windpipe or trachea. The surgical procedure to create this opening is called a tracheotomy.

A tracheostomy provides an air passage to help the patient breathe when the usual route for breathing is obstructed or impaired. A tracheostomy is often needed when health problems require the use of a ventilator to help the patient breathe.

At what age are children eligible to be residents at CHC?
CHC typically provides care to children ranging from newborns to those 6 years old.  We have many residents that stay beyond 6 years old, and several who remain until adulthood.

Are all children admitted for long-term stays?
CHC admits children for either short (6 months minimum) or long stays. The length of a child’s stay is dependent on the goals of treatment and the medical needs of the child.

How can I find out if my child is eligible to be a resident at CHC?
Children’s Habilitation Center prides itself in the provision of total habilitative healthcare to children who require specialized treatment, skilled nursing care, and medical management.

CHC accepts residents and renders services without regard to race, color, or national origin.

A thorough and individualized review of each potential admission is completed by CHC’s dedicated and experienced Interdisciplinary Team (IDT), which is comprised of our:

  • CEO
  • Administrator
  • Medical Director and Pediatric Physician
  • Director of Nursing
  • Director of Respiratory Services
  • Director of Physical Therapy
  • Residential Services Director
  • Admissions/Discharge Coordinator

Our IDT assesses each of the following areas:

  • Age — CHC is a licensed Skilled Pediatric Facility
  • Ambulatory Status and Level of Cognitive Functioning
  • Behavioral Status and Discharge Potential
  • Medical Condition/Special Needs

Generally, our residents are in need of continuous medical supervision for chronic, complicated, and recurring medical conditions such as:

  • Ventilator Dependency
  • Severe Respiratory Conditions
  • Hyperalimentation
  • Uncontrolled Seizure Activity
  • Gastrostomy
  • Tracheostomy
  • Intravenous Therapy
  • Immune Deficiencies

For more information about our admissions requirements, or to schedule a tour of our facility and meet our dedicated team of professionals, please Contact Us.

What services does CHC provide?
CHS provides a variety of holistic, pediatric habilitative services. For a complete list, visit Our Services Page.

How are services paid for?
CHC services are reimbursed through Medicaid or are self-pay.

Is the care CHC provides as good as hospitals and healthcare facilities?
We strongly feel our care is better! With unmatched experience, a super dedicated staff, CNAs in every room 24 hours a day, therapists, education and lots of love and social interaction, we believe our habilitation care is among the best in the nation.

Do I have to give up custody of my child if he or she is admitted to CHC?
No. Admission to CHC does not affect your parental rights or guardianship status. Our goal is to keep families together as much as possible during the time that your child is a resident here. As a parent or guardian, all major medical and educational decisions are subject to your approval. Interdisciplinary status meetings are available upon request.

Will my child go to school?
CHC is certified by the Illinois State Board of Education as a private non-public school and provides education for children who are unable to attend Public School off-site. If your child is not medically stable, he or she may attend one of CHC’s classrooms and/or bedside teaching is provided as necessary. It is important to register your child in your local school district when he or she turns 3 years of age. If your child is not 3 years of age yet, he or she will attend our 0 to 3 (Early Childhood Program) educational program.

Will my child participate in activities?
Yes. Many activities are available within Children’s Habilitation Center. Art therapy, plays, holiday celebrations, movies and family special events are some of the activities that make Children’s Habilitation Center a special place to be. In addition, with physician consent, children can participate in community field trips to local sites such as a fire station, parks, community fairs and the zoo in CHC’s specialized bus.

Are parents invited to activities?
Parents are always welcome at CHC! In fact, many activities are planned specifically to encourage family participation. Parents and families can learn about these events through mailings, our website or by contacting your child’s designated case manager.

When can I visit, and can other family members visit as well?
Upon admission, parents and guardians will be asked to inform CHC in writing who will be allowed to visit their child. Please sign in when you arrive and sign out when you depart. The Visitor’s Log Book is located at the first office upon entry or at the nurses’ station. Suggested visiting hours are between 10:00 A.M. and 8:00 P.M. seven days a week. If you are a working parent and it is impossible to visit during these hours, arrangements can be made in advance with the Director of Nursing. Brothers and sisters may also visit when they are accompanied by a parent. However, there are some visitation restrictions for children especially during flu seasons. Please check with the Charge Nurse and have your assigned case manager paged upon arrival. No visitors are allowed in patients’ rooms to ensure the privacy of other residents.

What are the security procedures?
All parents/guardians and family members are admitted through the electronically monitored door at the rear entrance. All parents/guardians and family members are requested to sign the Visitor’s Log Book. New visitors and families will be requested to show photo identification. All visitors are required to wear photo identification badges.

Will I need special training to take my child home?
CHC offers comprehensive training in ventilator, tracheostomy, and G-Tube care. Healthcare Provider CPR is required prior to beginning training. Two caregivers must participate in training sessions. Caregiver Training must be completed prior to any home visit and prior to any discharge. If training occurred at another facility, return demonstrations are required. Contact the Staff Development Coordinator to schedule training appointments.

Can I take my child on home visits?
Home visits are encouraged when your child is medically stable and when Caregiver Training has been completed. Every home visit must be approved by the attending physician and Administrator. If you are planning a home visit, contact a Nurse or Case Manager two weeks in advance of the desired visit so the home visit request can be processed. You are responsible for arranging for transportation and any required medical equipment. Any needed medication will be sent home with the child. We request that the children going on home visits leave and return during established visiting hours. Any liability is the Guardian’s responsibility.

How can I obtain equipment to take my child home on visits?
Public Aid and most insurance companies will not provide payment for equipment in the home while a child is a resident of Children’s Habilitation Center. Any agreement for rental of medical equipment and the subsequent payment for the rental is between the Guardian and the equipment company.

Can I call to see how my child is doing?
Of course. Please call anytime to check on your child. The 24-hour Nurses’ Station number is 708.339.6095. Ask for the Charge Nurse for medical questions or your child’s Case Manager for non-medical questions. Only the parent or guardian may request information.

What happens when a child is ill?
If your child is ill, he or she will be seen by the attending physician. Should this occur when a physician is not in the facility, they will be consulted by phone. Parents are called if it is felt the situation is serious and hospitalization is necessary. In case of a life-threatening medical emergency, your child will be sent by ambulance to Ingalls Memorial Hospital, which is located three blocks from the facility. If inpatient hospitalization is necessary, your child will be transported via ambulance or helicopter to one of Chicago’s leading medical centers. CHC prefers to work closely with the University of Chicago.

Who should I contact if I have a non-medical concern about my child?
Immediate concerns can be addressed with your Case Manager or the Case Manager on duty. If a Case Manager is unavailable, contact the Charge Nurse. If your concerns have not been addressed, contact the Administrator at 708.596.2220.

What if I move or change my phone number?
Please notify the Case Manager or Charge Nurse with any new information immediately. It is important that we are able to contact you or your emergency contacts at all times. In the case of an emergency and any hospitalization or need for medical care, your consent is needed — hospitals require it before care can be given. CHC cannot give authorization to outside medical care. In the case of a move, you will need to register your child in the new school district and notify CHC immediately.

What if I go on vacation?
Let us know when you will be leaving and when you will return from vacation. Please notify us how you can be contacted while on vacation in the case of an emergency.

What if my child requires special physician consultation?
Frequently, specialty clinics such as neurology, neurosurgery, pulmonology, podiatry, eye, and dental are conducted on-site by our visiting consultants. Other specialty clinical appointments are made on an as-indicated basis at local Chicago hospitals. If your child needs to go to an off-site appointment, he/she will be accompanied by the clinic transport nurse and will be transported by ambulance. You will be notified of any off-site appointments and are always welcome to meet your child at the clinic. If your attendance is required for any reason, you will be advised at the time you are informed of the visit by the clinic transport nurse.

What will happen with my child’s Social Security checks?
The majority of your child’s SSI or SSA will go directly to the primary care provider (such as Public Aid) to offset the costs associated with daily medical and nursing care. Every month, approximately $30.00 is allocated for your child’s personal needs. CHC will set up an interest-bearing savings account (trust fund) for your child at a local bank. SSI or SSA checks designated for personal needs will be directly deposited into your child’s trust fund account. With your signed consent, your child’s Case Manager will purchase necessary clothing and personal items not covered in the daily bed rates from their account. Application for SSI is mandatory to maintain benefits through Public Aid. You should apply immediately for benefits at your local Social Security office upon admission (failure to do so could lead to discharge and state penalties).

Will I have the opportunity to meet the families of other children?
Yes. First, you may request to speak with a family prior to your child’s admission. These family members can best tell you about our facility and frequently are willing to provide you with support and understanding. CHC’s family events are an excellent means of connecting with others.

As a student nurse interested in pediatric care, can I train or intern at CHC?
Opportunities for training and internships are available depending on circumstances. Year-round, we are host to ADN (Associate Degree in Nursing students from Moraine Valley Community College, ADN students from Olive Harvey College, Licensed Practical Nursing students from Everest College of Merrillville, Indiana, ADN students from South Suburban College, and Respiratory Therapy students from Olive Harvey College.
What jobs are currently available at CHC?
Visit our Careers Page for current job openings and career information.



“They actually care.”


“They have not failed me.”

Ms. Brown

“They’re taking good care of him.”