Family Defense

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Please join us for ourinviteImg
Family Innocence Benefit

Ellen Domph, Family Innocence Defender

Professor Deborah Tuerkheimer, Family Innocence Scholar

Louis Fogel, Pro Bono and Community Service Award

The Goodman Theatre, Community Awareness Award

Sunday, September 21, 2014, 4:00 - 7:30 p.m.

The Mid-America Club, Aon Center
200 E. Randolph St, 80th Floor (map)

Please purchase tickets, sponsorships, or tributes here.

If you are interested in sponsoring, purchasing tickets to the event, or donating to the silent auction, please contact Diana Hansen at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it  or Bea Radakovich at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , or call 312-251-9800 x. 10.


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The Family Defense Center proudly presents...

National Reunification Day 

Telling Your Story: Empowerment through Advocacy

Saturday June 7, 2014 from 1:30 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Chicago Public Library - Logan Square Branch

3030 W. Fullerton Ave.

Chicago, IL 60647

Pre-Register Online Here


Luna Gale Webinar Print E-mail

Did the play Luna Gale at the Goodman Theater touch and inform you of the dangers and biases inherent in the child welfare system? Then join us for a free Webinar: “How to Help the Real Luna Gales and Their Families in the Child Welfare System.”

This post-play discussion will be led by the Family Defense Center and co-sponsored by the Goodman Theatre on Thursday, March 20, from 12:15-1:15 p.m.

The Webinar will include:

  • Current information about the child welfare system in Illinois and nationally and how the play Luna Gale mirrors real issues involving the best interests of children and families
  • ŸPolicies to prevent real–life Luna Gales from being lost in the system and ways in which these policies need to be enhanced
  • ŸRecommendations for how you can become involved in helping children and families in the child welfare system
  • ŸOpportunity to ask questions of experts who work on child welfare advocacy in Illinois
Read more... [Luna Gale Webinar]
Special Theater Event: Thursday, January 23, 2014 at the Goodman Theatre Print E-mail
 Program booklet now available: click here 
Event Co-Chairs Torrey L. Barrett, Tracey Scruggs Yearwood, and
Elissa Hamid Efroymson invite you to:
Family Defense Center
Special Theater Event
Luna Gale at the Goodman Theatre

Please join us for a special benefit event at the Goodman Theatre on January 23, 2014.

6:00 p.m. Pre-show reception with light fare and cash bar
7:30 p.m. Showing of Luna Gale
9:00 p.m. Post-show panel discussion organized by the FDC including a clinical psychologist and two attorneys who work with children and families


More about Luna Gale, from the Goodman Theatre website:

Caroline, a veteran social worker, thinks she has a typical case on her hands when she meets Peter and Karlie, two teenaged drug addicts accused of neglecting their baby. But when she places their infant daughter in the care of Karlie’s mother, Caroline sparks a family conflict that exposes a shadowy, secretive past—and forces her to make a risky decision with potentially disastrous consequences. Powerful and arresting, Luna Gale is a heartbreaking and unforgettable tale of love and betrayal.

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January 23, 2014

6:00 - 9:30 p.m.

The Goodman Theatre
170 N. Dearborn St.
Chicago, IL 60601

Individual Tickets: $75
YPN Tickets: $50
Sponsorships: $250-$2,500
For more details call:
x. 27


benefitImagePlease join us for our
Fifth Annual Benefit
Honoring 2013 Family Defender,
Professor Anita Weinberg, J.D., M.S.W

Sunday, September 22, 2013
4:00 - 7:30 p.m.

NEW LOCATION: The Mid-America Club
200 E. Randolph St, 80th Floor (map)

Lifetime Achievement Awards:
Dr. Eugene Pergament and Rhoda Redleaf

Please purchase tickets here.


Read more... [Special Theater Event: Thursday, January 23, 2014 at the Goodman Theatre]
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Please help us make justice for families a reality. Please make contribution to the Family Defense Center today:

The Family Defense Center is a 501(c)(3) not for profit organization. All contributions are tax-deductible to the extent allowed by law.

Notice (12/4/2014): The Family Defense Center is hiring a Deputy Executive Director. The Deputy Executive Director will direct, administer, and coordinate the internal operations of the organization in accordance with policies, goals, and objectives established by the Executive Director and the Board of Directors. Please click here to read more about the position and learn about the application process.


Notice to all persons located in the state of Illinois who were:

A. Investigated or indicated for neglect under Allegation 60 from July 13, 2012 through December 31, 2013; 


B. Were indicated for neglect under Allegation 60 from May 31, 2014 through June 11, 2014. 

A class action lawsuit, entitled Ashley M., et al. v. Ill. Dep’t of Children & Family Servs., et al., No. 2013 CH 20278, is now pending in the Circuit Court of Cook County, Chancery Division, Cook County, Illinois.

Please click here to read the full notice of this proposed settlement and fairness hearing.


Quick Links:

  • If you would like to keep up-to-date on upcoming events at the Family Defense Center, please Click Here to join our mailing list.
  • If you are part of a group or organization interested in working with the Family Defense Center, please send your contact information (including your phone number and address) to: