It Takes a Village 

Smart Love's Free-of-Charge Support for Families of Color

Parent and Youth Groups


Para obtener más información sobre el Programa Mi Familia, haga clic aquí.

Smart Love Family Services welcomes families on the West Side and in the greater Oak Park area to be part of It Takes A Village, a free-of-charge program for parents and children of color that is uniquely tailored to fit their needs. Smart Love’s dedicated professionals lead the Group meetings, providing a caring, confidential, and non-judgmental environment for parents and children to share their experiences, ask questions, and express their hopes. 

This great resource supports parents in addressing the challenges that impact their families and their children’s behavior and emotions, along with factors that affect self-regard and success at school, home, and in life. Participants are encouraged to learn from one another and share with Smart Love staff, whether they simply come and listen—or actively participate in discussions and connect with their peers.

Parents and children come to separate biweekly Saturday Group sessions to gain ideas, knowledge and encouragement in dealing with issues such as:

  • Identifying and overcoming inequalities and coping with racist attitudes and systems

  • Helping children understand and process current affairs appropriately for their age

  • Encouraging a positive sense of self and racial identity in the context of a predominant culture

  • Deepening effective communications and problem-solving skills

  • Reinforcing parental expectations and setting boundaries

  • Fostering healthy and happy relationships with family and friends


Together, the groups build community, gain knowledge, and set the course for happy futures.

Children from 6-18 are welcome to participate in the Youth Group sessions. Individual parent coaching and support sessions are also available free-of-charge for ITAV participants who are residents of Oak Park, River Forest, and Proviso Townships.

We offer the following groups:

  • Finding Strength Together – for African American parents

  • Mi Familia – for Latinx parents, conducted in Spanish

  • Multicultural Group – for diverse parents of children of color

  • Youth Group – for children of color ages 6-18

Upcoming 2021/22 Group Meeting Dates & Times

  • July 10, 24

  • August 7, 28

  • September 4, 18

  • October 2, 16, 30

  • November 13 - Special Webinar: BREAKING NEWS: How Parents and Can Help Children and Teens Cope with Traumatic News in the Media and When Trauma Occurs in Their Communities. Click here to learn more.

  • November 27

  • December 11

  • January 8, 22

  • February 5, 19

  • March 5, 19

  • April 2, 16, 30

  • May 14, 28

  • June 11, 25

The Groups meet from 1:15 to 2:30 p.m.

Program Location

During the COVID crisis, the Groups are meeting via Zoom.

Once we are able to meet in-person, the groups sessions and parent coaching will take place at our conveniently located Oak Park office.

Smart Love Family Services

1010 Lake Street, Suite 500

Oak Park, IL 60304

Inquiries and for More Information

To speak directly with our group coordinator, please contact:

Daniece J. Townsend, M.A., LPC, NCC

773.665.8052, ext. 207 |

For our Spanish speaking support groups, please contact:

Silvia Rosman, MSW

773.665.8052, ext. 251 |

It Takes A Village staff

Inquiry Form
Any information you provide is strictly confidential.
I'm intested in:
Katherine Ford 381A8571.jpg

Katherine M. Ford, MSW


Hudnall, Jessica.jpg

Jessica Hudnall, M.A.


14felicia owens-.jpg

Felicia Owens, Psy.D., LPC


Rosman, Silvia.jpg

Silvia Rosman, MSW


Daniece Townsend.jpg

Daniece J. Townsend, M.A., LPC, NCC


Major support for the Minority Family Program comes from the Community Mental Health Board of Oak Park Township.


Additional support provided by:


Community Health Care Report


To view the Community Mental Health Report click here.