Formed in 1898 by members of the Glencoe Congregational Church, Arden Shore began as a summer respite camp for mothers and children. Over the years the facility and location has changed, but the driving force has always been to build the well-being of children and families so that everyone has the opportunity to reach their full potential.

Rebuilding Children's Lives for 125 Years


On April 18, 1898, the State of Illinois issued a Not-for-Profit Charter to the Gads Hill Social Settlement

The Gad’s Hill Encampment, a “tent city” overlooking Lake Michigan on the county line was formed by North Shore women, giving hundreds of women and children from the inner city a healthy-living experience for a period of two weeks.


First large benefit, “County Fair” was held on the camp grounds.  Permanent kitchen and dining buildings were erected with the proceeds.


The organization formally incorporated as an Illinois not-for-profit under on May 16, 1906 the name of Gad’s Hill Encampment Association.  Child welfare was in its infancy during this era of expansion for Arden Shore.


Gad’s Hill Encampment Association purchased a permanent site of 24 acres on Lake Michigan, one mile north of Lake Bluff at a cost of $17,840


Buildings from old site were moved by cutting them into sections and hauling them to Lake Bluff in hayracks.  Camp was opened on the new grounds July 2 with 275 guests.


On January 25, 1913 the agency name was change to Arden Shore Association


Beginning of a winter camp for 125 boys aged 14 to 17 who were refused work permits because of undernourishment.  In 13 weeks, the average boy gained 12 pounds.


A Chicago Committee was formed and joined the other suburban associations in fund-raising efforts to support the camp.


First Ball was held raising $14,000.  The Army-Navy game was held in Chicago so a decision was made to hold a ball that night.  Invitations went to 200 Midshipmen and Cadets and the success set a precedent for an annual November Ball until the Depression Years.

1933 – 1935

The scope of child welfare expanded as an outcome of the Great Depression.  Whereas maternal and child health had been the focus of earlier years, services were now aimed at homeless, dependent and neglected children in danger of delinquency.


Arden Shore Association is recipient of the Gads Hills encampment in Glencoe and becomes the site for an organization serving children and families in the developing northern suburbs.


Times no longer had need for summer camp.  Arden Shore became a year-round camp for needy and dependent boys, with girls in attendance only in the summer.  The unheated cabins were deemed too cold for the girls in winter.


Administration building and three dormitories were built.


A new kitchen and dining room facilities were erected.

This was the first year of the Annual Arden Shore Bazaar which was to become another fund-raising tradition


Child welfare laws became more specific and longer term care was considered the proper response to poverty and family disintegration.  Arden Shore’s program added a strong educational component and evolved to focus on the “gifted boy” who was unable to cope and flourish in his own home environment.


An Arden Shore Men’s Board was established to act in an advisory capacity to the Women’s Board.  The Men’s Board became active in fundraising, the scholarship program, major building and ground contract negotiations and other legal matters.  They also generously provided tickets for athletic and sports events and other recreational outings for the boys.


Rosenthal School was opened, providing on-campus transitional elementary school.


A further evolution of program shifted focus from the gifted boy to emotionally and behaviorally disturbed boys.


Annual Bazaar moved off-campus for the first time in 20 years.  Its overwhelming popularity drew crowds that could no longer be accommodated on campus grounds.


“Positive Peer Culture”, an entirely new concept in treating behaviorally disturbed adolescents, was introduced to address a major service gap.


The Rosenthal School fell under the guidance of the North Suburban Special Education District and the on-campus educational program for Arden Shore boys and NSSED students began.


Kendall Hall educational facility was built, and Arden Shore reached full capacity with 48 boys receiving treatment and education.


The Boys’ Group Home was purchased in North Chicago, to meet the needs for a transitional program preparing the boys ready to leave the Kendall program for independence.  This program continues today.


Arden Shore staffed the Girls’ Group Home in Highland Park.  Here, adolescent girls were offered education through the Northern Suburban Special Education District as well as transitional living services.


On April 20, 1992 Arden Shore Association changed its name to Arden Shore Child and Family Services to reflect its unique focus on the child as part of a family constellation.

The Residential Diagnostic Center opened, responding to the enormous societal and economic changes that had radically altered the types of children entering the child welfare system.  Having suffered severe abuse and/or neglect, these children required specialized services in a therapeutic environment.

The Summer Fun Program, a day camp for children who were not able to attend traditional summer camps was instituted.


The Relative Foster Care Program, the first non-residential program in the organization’s history, was inaugurated to serve children removed from their birth families due to abuse and neglect.


The Arden Shore campus was sold, and entered into a lease agreement with the buyer while looking for new property.

Arden Shore’s In-Home Counseling Program was rolled out — the only program of its kind in Lake County.


The Lake Bluff and Lake Villa Group Homes opened, permitting Arden Shore to vacate the lake-front campus property.


Arden Shore moved the administrative offices to Vernon Hills.

Arden Shore celebrates its centennial.

A New Century Begins | 1999

Lake Bluff Group Home property sold.

Arden Shore hired Dr. Dora E. Maya as its President & CEO to lead the agency second century of services. Dr Maya is the first Latina in the agency’s history to hold this position.


Lake Villa Diagnostic Group Home residents moved from this leased property to a new home purchased in Waukegan.


Arden Shore is accredited by the Council on Accreditation, attesting that Arden Shore meets the highest national best-practice standards and is delivering quality services to the children, youth and families it serves.


Arden Shore introduces services to Latino families in Lake County.


Arden Shore merges with Family Services of North Lake County and becomes a United Way funded agency.  The Agency adds two more sites with offices located in Waukegan and Lake Villa.

Arden Shore introduces the Intact Family Services program.  It is the Agency’s first program to provide bi-lingual (English/Spanish) services to families in Lake County.


Arden Shore contracts with the Department of Children and Family Services to provide bilingual therapeutic case management in a linguistic appropriate, culturally sensitive service milieu for Latino children in substitute care in Cook and/or Lake County, thus initiating the Burgos program.


Arden Shore is reaccredited by the Council on Accreditation.

Arden Shore introduces the ¡L.I.S.T.O.! program.  The Latino Intervention Services and Therapeutic Outreach program addresses the needs of Latino children and adolescents with severe emotional disturbances and their families.


Arden Shore receives its first funding ever from the Department of Public Health to provide community health and prevention services to the Latino community.


Arden shore introduces the Health Education and Prevention Center.

Due to lack of governing founding the agency is force to close the !L.I.S.T.O.! program.


Arden Shore is recognized by DCFS for its Foster Parent Implementation Plan by receiving the first ever “Foster Parent Involvement” award.


Arden Shore is reaccredited by the Council on Accreditation


Arden Shore contracts with the Department of Children and Family Services to provide Differential Response (DR) bilingual services in the DCFS Regional Northern Area.


Arden Shore received a grant from the Lake County Health Foundation to create a “Mental Health Collaborative” partnership between the agency and other providers in Lake County including:  Nicasa, YWCA, Lake County Behavioral Health Department and Northwestern University.


Arden Shore send 8 youth to Germany to the first ever USA youth Exchange between the city of Hamburg and the city of Waukegan. The youth chosen graduate successfully from the “Truancy Prevention Project”.


Arden Shore hosted 8 youth and 3 adult supervisors from Hamburg, Germany as part of year 2 of the cultural Youth Exchange.

Arden Shore is re-accredited by the Council on Accreditation.


Arden Shore created the Behavioral Health and Therapeutic Support Services Division. The agency began providing therapy services to Medicaid clients in the community as part of the Affordable Care Act in addition to its DCFS clients.


Arden Shore expanded the scope of the Behavioral Health Services program by securing seven Managed Care Organization contracts to provide counseling to community Medicaid consumers. The agency obtained their DASA/SUPR license in 2015, expanding client services to include substance use disorder intervention service provision.


Arden Shore’s Administration and Board of Directors embraced the National Reframing Initiative objective to involve all community stakeholders in understanding and supporting the services agencies like Arden Shore provide. As part of this initiative, the agency has created communications and literature about its services and made it available to the community at-large to help them understand the need for services in the community. The agency secured its first commercial contract to provide counseling services for the Behavioral Health Services program. Arden Shore refurbished the second floor of its Waukegan office, to accommodate growth of the agency’s Intact and Foster Care programs.


Arden Shore is re-accredited by the Council on Accreditation.


Arden Shore’s Board of Directors participated in a Strategic Planning Board Retreat, shifting the focus of the Board from solely governance to also include fundraising/development. Arden Shore formalized its Internship Counseling Program, establishing itself as one of the premier providers of bilingual counseling services for Medicaid clients in the community. Arden Shore received a Community Block Grant to update some of the agency’s infrastructure, including the agency office and group home.


With multiple closures of other child welfare programs, Arden Shore becomes the primary traditional foster care organization serving the area. From 2014 to 2019, the agency’s Intact program grew 120% and its Foster Care program grew 90%. The organization remains committed to service accessibility as the only bilingual provider of DCFS services in Lake County and one of few behavioral health providers that accepts Medicaid and offers therapeutic services in English and Spanish.


The economic shifts spurred by the COVID-19 pandemic challenged employers of essential workers across the industry. In response, Arden Shore engaged philanthropic partners to co-invest in the retention of professional and experienced human service providers to prevent service disruption.

In spite of the significant challenges to service during the pandemic, the Foster Care Program exceeded the goal set by DCFS for children in foster care to achieve permanent placement and Arden Shore was the number one agency in Illinois for permanency achievement.


Arden Shore recruited and licensed the highest percentage of relatives in the region for kinship foster care, later recognized by the Department of Child and Family Services. Kinship care helps maintain family connections and cultural traditions that can minimize the trauma of family separation.

Arden Shore prioritizes kinship, identifies connections rather than just placement options, and maintains community ties to make a difference in the lives of children and youth. With the organization’s outstanding performance in kinship licensing, Arden Shore was invited to share its strategies with peer organizations–working to shift the foster care system to one that truly supports families.


With all programs operating at capacity, Arden Shore shifts to focus exclusively on community-based work with closure of residential group home and expansion of the behavioral health team. Secured grant funding to support a new, Spanish-speaking behavioral health counselor position, increasing Arden Shore’s capacity to provide counseling to the Spanish-speaking community regardless of insurance status or ability to pay, addressing the high demand for mental health support in Lake County.


Arden Shore Child and Family Services celebrates its 125th anniversary, recognized by the City of Waukegan with an honorary street naming ceremony and a vast mural featured on the Wintrust Mural Building in Chicago.


  • Mrs. Robert Gregory, 1898-1905
  • Mrs. Frank McMullin, 1906-1911
  • Mrs. James E. Keith, 1912-1913
  • Mrs. Robert Gregory, 1914
  • Mrs. Philip Post, 1915
  • Mrs. J. McGregory Adams, 1916
  • Mrs. Philip Post, 1917
  • Mrs. Grant Ridgway, 1918-1919
  • Mrs. Charles H. Thorne, 1920-1923
  • Mrs. Joseph Siddal, 1924-1925
  • Mrs. Arthur Tuttle, 1926
  • Mrs. Fred Wacker, 1927-1929
  • Mrs. George Mason, 1930-1934
  • Mrs. Kingman Douglass, 1935
  • Mrs. Harry A. Sellery, 1936
  • Mrs. Herbert Nock, 1937-1938
  • Mrs. John E. Davis, 1939-1941
  • Mrs. Proehl Jaklon, 1942-1943
  • Mrs. George W. Traver, 1944
  • Mrs. Wyndham H. Channer, 1945
  • Mrs. Rockwood Edwards, 1946-1948
  • Mrs. Ivar N. Nelson, 1949-1950
  • Mrs. Alexander Revell, 1951
  • Mrs. Lawrence L. Howe, 1952
  • Mrs. Norbert Thomas, 1953
  • Mrs. Lawrence L. Howe, 1954
  • Mrs. Kenneth Covell, 1955
  • Mrs. Allen Bulley, 1956
  • Mrs. Harold Wright, 1957-1959
  • Mrs. Glen Forgan, 1960-1963
  • Mrs. Richard Sears, 1964
  • Mrs. Jeanne Doyle, 1965-1966
  • Mrs. Virginia Magnus, 1967-1971
  • Mrs. James Donnelly, 1972-1974
  • Mrs. John Bundock, Jr., 1976-1977
  • Mrs. Carol Banick, 1978-1981
  • Mrs. Edna MacMillin, 1982-1985
  • Mrs. Susan Adams, 1986-1989
  • Mrs. Sally Hunner, 1990-1992
  • Mrs. Sally Swoyer, 1993-1994
  • Mr. Samuel Beacham, 1995-1996
  • Mrs. Deborah Chiles, 1997-1998
  • Mrs. Pam Bailey, 1999-2000
  • Mrs. Dottie Rzeszutko, 2001-2002
  • Mr. Roland Eckert, 2003-2004
  • Mr. Keith Schoenfeld, 2005-2006
  • Mr. Charles Jesser, 2007-2009
  • Mr. R. Shawn Heaviland, 2009
  • Mrs. Dottie Rzeszutko, 2010-2022
  • Mr. Scott Yelvington, 2023-Present