Lutheran Child and Family Services of Illinois wins the Council on Accreditation’s 2019 Innovative Practices Award

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The award celebrates LCFS Illinois’ Regenerations program as an example of successful innovation in the human services field.

The Council on Accreditation (COA) would like to congratulate Lutheran Child and Family Services of Illinois as the winner of the 2019 Innovative Practices Award for its Regenerations program!

The Innovative Practices Award identifies, documents, and celebrates examples of successful approaches to management and service delivery practices adopted by COA-accredited organizations. Too often great ideas are kept in-house without recognizing their potential to create change beyond. The purpose of the Innovative Practices Award is to amplify the effect of one great idea by elevating it to the national stage, offering it as a resource for direct service providers, leadership, researchers, and advocates across the full spectrum of human services.

This year's evaluation process began with a preliminary round of submissions in which applicants provided a one-page synopsis of their innovative practice. 75 programs were submitted; six were selected to move forward. Five of these submitted their full case studies, which were reviewed by a team of expert judges. The community got to weigh in, as well, with over 1,000 public votes making up 5% of each submission’s final score. It was a tight competition with many strong submissions, but Regenerations came out on top.

You can download the case study of the Regenerations program here:


Lutheran Child and Family Services (LCFS) Regenerations is an innovative and effective strengths-based program designed to support dually-involved (child welfare and criminal justice systems) adolescents over the age of 12. The premise is that by using a team approach and providing individualized wraparound services, these “at risk” youth will increase their sense of well-being, be contributing members of the community, and have the opportunity to lead healthy, meaningful lives.

Several objectives are part of the design. It begins with a referral to Regenerations when the youth is released from detention. Focusing on placement in a family-like setting rather than a residential facility and building a trusting relationship, LCFS staff work to provide intensive wraparound services to transition the individual into the community. On average, participants in Regenerations experience a shorter waiting period for release and are more likely to go to live in a family setting after release. It is also encouraging that there is a lower rate of recidivism for this group.

LCFS Regenerations is one of the only programs serving this population in the state of Illinois. Because of the positive impact locally, it is expected to become recognized as a model to replicate across the nation.


Founded in 1977, the COA is an independent, nonprofit, international accreditor of community-based behavioral health and social service organizations. Designed to meet the needs of the varied human services field, COA accredits over 47 different service areas and over 125 types of programs. COA has separate accreditation programs for private organizations, public agencies, Canadian organizations, military programs, and child and youth development programs (including out-of-school time and early childhood education).

Currently, COA accredits or is in the process of accrediting over 1,800 organizations or programs that serve more than 7 million individuals and families each year. Learn more at

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Michael De Cicco, MS, MPHIL, Vice President of Business Development
since: 07/2012
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