Formerly Children’s Home & Aid, Brightpoint is a leading child and family service agency with offices across Illinois serving nearly 30,000 children and families each year in 65 counties. Over the course of its 140-year history, Brightpoint has helped improve the lives of countless vulnerable children and families, contributing to the creation of the modern public child welfare system along the way. This system established, in part, foster care as the remedy for children whose families of origin could not safely care for and nurture them.
However, 2021 marked a turning point for the agency which, through its Blueprint for Impact and Strategic Plan, announced a reimagining of its work as it confronted the truth that foster care is not always the right solution. The foster care system has disproportionately impacted families of color, and it can turn solvable challenges into life-altering crises. Too often the problems pushing families to the point where the system intervenes is less about having made poor choices, and more about having only poor choices available. Out of these and other realities, the agency’s new name, Brightpoint, and its new mission was born.
Today, Brightpoint’s work is repositioned around an intentional focus on three themes: prevention, family wellbeing, and racial and social equity.