I come to work every day knowing that I’m encouraging healthy change.
Megan, Unit Coordinator at Nexus-Indian Oaks
Our Approach to Treatment

Nexus residential programs are designed to keep your family engaged throughout the treatment process—and to ensure you’re wrapped with all the support you need during this difficult time. While we’re helping your child build skills and stability in their lives, we’ll also help the rest of your family deal with the impact of trauma and mental health issues.

Learn more about Nexus Residential Treatment.

Our Treatment Center
A peaceful retreat in rural Illinois.

Nexus-Indian Oaks Family Healing is located approximately 50 miles south of Chicago, in the small, rural community of Manteno, Illinois. Our campus features cozy cottages with private bedrooms that provide safety and comfort for youth in residence.

Programs for Males
(Ages 12-21)

Sexually Problematic Behaviors Program

We specialize in working with kids who demonstrate sexually problematic behaviors. Our treatment program is based on the most current research and national standards and our focus is on treating the whole child, not just a single issue. We’re committed to breaking the cycle of sexual harm so healing can begin.

What are sexually problematic behaviors?

Sexually problematic behaviors include harmful sexual acts against another person, sexual acts that show signs of becoming harmful, and other forms of acting out sexually.

Effective treatment for sexually problematic behaviors requires a safe, non-judgmental approach, based on empathy, genuineness, and warmth. Concern for those who have been harmed—and their need for respect, healing, empowerment, and ongoing safety—is both the driving force and guiding principle behind our successful treatment of youth with sexually problematic behaviors.

Our treatment has a three-pronged approach:

  1. Individualize for every child. Every kid we work with is unique. They each have different reasons for demonstrating sexually problematic behaviors, so they each have a different treatment plan that’s individually tailored to their needs and their family’s needs.

  2. Partner for success. We work together closely with the child’s family , treatment staff, and any others involved in monitoring the child’s success.

  3. Care for the whole person. In order to change harmfully sexual behaviors we address the needs and concerns of the whole child. Our holistic approach takes into account each child’s unique personality, temperament, culture, community, and environment. We address any related mental-health concerns, personal trauma, abuse by others (emotional, physical, or sexual), delays (intellectual, developmental, or educational), social-interaction problems, family stresses, relationship problems, medical concerns, substance-abuse behaviors, and other special needs.

Based on each child’s individual and family needs, we use some or all of the following treatment approaches:

  • Psychological and Psychiatric Assessments
  • Clinical Evaluations
  • Therapy – Individual, Family, and Group
  • Counseling – Individual, Family, and Group
  • Psycho-Education – Individual, Family, and Group
  • Psychiatric Oversight (to include Medication Management)
  • Experiential Therapy – Sensory, Movement, Sand, Animal Interactions, and Play
  • Research-Based Techniques for Trauma Healing – EMDR (Eye Movement De-Sensitization Reprocessing) and/or TF-CBT (Trauma Focused – Cognitive Based Therapy)
  • Daily Activity and Recreation
  • Vocational Skill Development
  • Education/School (at the appropriate grade and functional level)
  • Referrals – for Substance Abuse Treatment and/or Speech, Physical, and Occupational Therapies

Emotional, Behavioral, and Mental Health Program

For kids who struggle with their emotions, behaviors, and/or mental health, we’re passionate about providing the support they need to heal, grow, and thrive—and we’re highly experienced at doing so.

What are emotional, behavioral, and mental health issues?

When a child’s behavior becomes unmanageable—even with high levels of adult intervention, and even when the child is provided love, structure, and protection—that child is most likely experiencing emotional, behavioral, or mental health issues.

We are experts in working with kids who have ongoing emotional and/or behavioral manifestations, like aggression, self-harm, social withdrawal, emotional outbursts, inappropriate social interactions, inability to self-regulate/self-soothe, and suicidal tendencies.

We treat a wide range of diagnoses, including depression, anxiety, ADHD/ADD, bipolar/manic disorder, PTSD, conduct/oppositional defiant disorder, attachment disorder, pervasive developmental disorder, and more.

Based on each child’s individual and family needs, we use some or all of the following treatment approaches: • Psychological and Psychiatric Assessments

  • Clinical Evaluations
  • Therapy – Individual, Family, and Group
  • Counseling – Individual, Family, and Group
  • Psycho-Education – Individual, Family, and GroupPsychiatric Oversight (to include Medication Management)
  • Experiential Therapy – Sensory, Movement, Sand, Animal Interactions, and Play
  • Research-Based Techniques for Trauma Healing – EMDR (Eye Movement De- Sensitization Reprocessing) and/or TF-CBT (Trauma-Focused – Cognitive Based Therapy)
  • Daily Activity and Recreation
  • Vocational Skill Development
  • Education/School (at the appropriate grade and functional level)
  • Referrals – for Substance Abuse Treatment and/or Speech, Physical, and Occupational Therapies

Intellectually/Developmentally Delayed and Special Needs Program

When a child is struggling with delays, it can be hard to know how to help. At Nexus, we create a safe space for kids to grow and advance, while gaining the skills and support they need.

What does it mean to be intellectually or developmentally delayed and have special needs?

An intellectual delay or disability can occur for a youth who has an IQ of less than 70–75. This can mean they are a little slower than average to learn new information and will function below their current age.

A developmental delay is a long-term disability that can affect cognitive ability, physical functioning, or both. Brain damage can result in a developmental disability.

What’s the difference between an intellectual and a developmental delay?

Sometimes it’s hard to tell the difference between the two. Both can impact a child’s ability to process and comprehend information. Both can affect a child’s response rates—physically and/or emotionally. Both can slow the pace for learning new information and skills—and retaining it. And both can affect a child’s ability to acclimate to new environments.

The primary difference is that a developmental disability most likely also includes a physical disability, whereas an intellectual delay does not. Whatever the cause, we take care to assess, treat, and attend to the individual needs of each child.

Based on each child’s individual and family needs, we use some or all of the following treatment approaches:

  • Psychological and Psychiatric Assessments
  • Clinical Evaluations
  • Therapy – Individual, Family, and Group
  • Counseling – Individual, Family, and Group
  • Psycho-Education – Individual, Family, and Group
  • Psychiatric Oversight (to include Medication Management)
  • Experiential Therapy – Sensory, Movement, Sand, Animal Interactions, and Play
  • Research-Based Techniques for Trauma Healing – EMDR (Eye Movement De-Sensitization Reprocessing) and/or TF-CBT (Trauma Focused – Cognitive Based Therapy)
  • Daily Activity and Recreation
  • Vocational Skill Development
  • Education/School (at the appropriate grade and functional level)
  • Referrals – for Substance Abuse Treatment and/or Speech, Physical, and Occupational Therapies
Programs for Females
(Ages 12-21)

Sexually Problematic Behaviors Program

We specialize in working with kids who demonstrate sexually problematic behaviors. Our treatment program is based on the most current research and national standards and our focus is on treating the whole child, not just a single issue. We’re committed to breaking the cycle of sexual harm so healing can begin.

What are sexually problematic behaviors?

Sexually problematic behaviors include harmful sexual acts against another person, sexual acts that show signs of becoming harmful, and other forms of acting out sexually.

Effective treatment for sexually problematic behaviors requires a safe, non-judgmental approach, based on empathy, genuineness, and warmth. Concern for those who have been harmed—and their need for respect, healing, empowerment, and ongoing safety—is both the driving force and guiding principle behind our successful treatment of youth with sexually problematic behaviors.

Our treatment has a three-pronged approach:

  1. Individualize for every child. Every kid we work with is unique. They each have different reasons for demonstrating sexually problematic behaviors, so they each have a different treatment plan that’s individually tailored to their needs and their family’s needs.

  2. Partner for success. We work together closely with the child’s family , treatment staff, and any others involved in monitoring the child’s success.

  3. Care for the whole person. In order to change harmfully sexual behaviors we address the needs and concerns of the whole child. Our holistic approach takes into account each child’s unique personality, temperament, culture, community, and environment. We address any related mental-health concerns, personal trauma, abuse by others (emotional, physical, or sexual), delays (intellectual, developmental, or educational), social-interaction problems, family stresses, relationship problems, medical concerns, substance-abuse behaviors, and other special needs.

Based on each child’s individual and family needs, we use some or all of the following treatment approaches:

  • Psychological and Psychiatric Assessments
  • Clinical Evaluations
  • Therapy – Individual, Family, and Group
  • Counseling – Individual, Family, and Group
  • Psycho-Education – Individual, Family, and Group
  • Psychiatric Oversight (to include Medication Management)
  • Experiential Therapy – Sensory, Movement, Sand, Animal Interactions, and Play
  • Research-Based Techniques for Trauma Healing – EMDR (Eye Movement De-Sensitization Reprocessing) and/or TF-CBT (Trauma Focused – Cognitive Based Therapy)
  • Daily Activity and Recreation
  • Vocational Skill Development
  • Education/School (at the appropriate grade and functional level)
  • Referrals – for Substance Abuse Treatment and/or Speech, Physical, and Occupational Therapies

Emotional, Behavioral, and Mental Health Program

For kids who struggle with their emotions, behaviors, and/or mental health, we’re passionate about providing the support they need to heal, grow, and thrive—and we’re highly experienced at doing so.

What are emotional, behavioral, and mental health issues?

When a child’s behavior becomes unmanageable—even with high levels of adult intervention, and even when the child is provided love, structure, and protection—that child is most likely experiencing emotional, behavioral, or mental health issues.

We are experts in working with kids who have ongoing emotional and/or behavioral manifestations, like aggression, self-harm, social withdrawal, emotional outbursts, inappropriate social interactions, inability to self-regulate/self-soothe, and suicidal tendencies.

We treat a wide range of diagnoses, including depression, anxiety, ADHD/ADD, bipolar/manic disorder, PTSD, conduct/oppositional defiant disorder, attachment disorder, pervasive developmental disorder, and more.

Based on each child’s individual and family needs, we use some or all of the following treatment approaches: • Psychological and Psychiatric Assessments

  • Clinical Evaluations
  • Therapy – Individual, Family, and Group
  • Counseling – Individual, Family, and Group
  • Psycho-Education – Individual, Family, and GroupPsychiatric Oversight (to include Medication Management)
  • Experiential Therapy – Sensory, Movement, Sand, Animal Interactions, and Play
  • Research-Based Techniques for Trauma Healing – EMDR (Eye Movement De- Sensitization Reprocessing) and/or TF-CBT (Trauma-Focused – Cognitive Based Therapy)
  • Daily Activity and Recreation
  • Vocational Skill Development
  • Education/School (at the appropriate grade and functional level)
  • Referrals – for Substance Abuse Treatment and/or Speech, Physical, and Occupational Therapies

Intellectually/Developmentally Delayed and Special Needs Program

When a child is struggling with delays, it can be hard to know how to help. At Nexus, we create a safe space for kids to grow and advance, while gaining the skills and support they need.

What does it mean to be intellectually or developmentally delayed and have special needs?

An intellectual delay or disability can occur for a youth who has an IQ of less than 70–75. This can mean they are a little slower than average to learn new information and will function below their current age.

A developmental delay is a long-term disability that can affect cognitive ability, physical functioning, or both. Brain damage can result in a developmental disability.

What’s the difference between an intellectual and a developmental delay?

Sometimes it’s hard to tell the difference between the two. Both can impact a child’s ability to process and comprehend information. Both can affect a child’s response rates—physically and/or emotionally. Both can slow the pace for learning new information and skills—and retaining it. And both can affect a child’s ability to acclimate to new environments.

The primary difference is that a developmental disability most likely also includes a physical disability, whereas an intellectual delay does not. Whatever the cause, we take care to assess, treat, and attend to the individual needs of each child.

Based on each child’s individual and family needs, we use some or all of the following treatment approaches:

  • Psychological and Psychiatric Assessments
  • Clinical Evaluations
  • Therapy – Individual, Family, and Group
  • Counseling – Individual, Family, and Group
  • Psycho-Education – Individual, Family, and Group
  • Psychiatric Oversight (to include Medication Management)
  • Experiential Therapy – Sensory, Movement, Sand, Animal Interactions, and Play
  • Research-Based Techniques for Trauma Healing – EMDR (Eye Movement De-Sensitization Reprocessing) and/or TF-CBT (Trauma Focused – Cognitive Based Therapy)
  • Daily Activity and Recreation
  • Vocational Skill Development
  • Education/School (at the appropriate grade and functional level)
  • Referrals – for Substance Abuse Treatment and/or Speech, Physical, and Occupational Therapies
School/Vocational Training
(Ages 12-21)

Safe Harbor School

(Grades 5-12)

Safe Harbor School is our onsite, non-public school that serves youth receiving treatment at Nexus-Nexus-Indian Oaks Family Healing, as well as local students who have been unsuccessful in achieving their academic potential in their current school districts. Our curriculum is tailored to each student’s needs and grade level and we also provide a special-education curriculum that’s delivered through a highly structured, year-round school calendar.

Safe Harbor School is accredited by the North Central Association Commission on Accreditation and School Improvement and approved by the Illinois State Board of Education, which means credits can transfer to any school upon a client's discharge.

Vocational Opportunities

We offer our youth opportunities to work in the community or on campus. These jobs include distributing food for the Salvation Army, painting, working in the local food pantry, working with Habitat for Humanity, and helping to maintain Camp Shaw Wa Na See Camp and the Kankakee Valley Forest Preserve.

Transition Support

Group Home Program

(Females, Ages 12-21)

One of the first steps of transitioning out of our Residential Treatment program is often our Group Home program, which offers 24-hour staff supervision with individualized coaching and mentoring. This program provides a safe, supervised setting that supports youth as they practice and implement their new, positive skills.

The amount of staff coaching while in our Group Home is based on each youth’s unique needs and behaviors, as well as their demonstrated ability to make safe decisions. Youth continue to attend school or vocational training, and they’re encouraged to be involved in community-based extracurricular activities. We also help them connect with other programs offered in the community to meet their ongoing therapy, counseling, and medical health needs.

Most kids in our Group Homes have successfully completed another Nexus-based treatment program, but referrals for youth outside of our network will be considered on a case-by-case basis. Youth who qualify for this program have demonstrated self-controlled behavior, as well as the ability to successfully regulate their emotions.

After completing the Group Home program, youth are prepared for safe community living, and have strengthened their independent living skills.

Transitional Living

(Males and Females, Ages 18-21)

Moving out of intensive Residential Treatment is an important time of transition. Our youth need time to practice what they’ve learned—in a less structured, but still highly supportive, environment. Our Transitional Living program helps prepare kids to successfully live on their own.

Youth in this program live either on campus or in a nearby home and are supervised by Nexus staff 24 hours a day. However, each youth is responsible for making their own independent decisions and guiding their own daily life. Our staff is there to provide coaching and mentoring as needed.

We work with the youth in this program to help build job skills, find work, complete educational milestones, manage finances, make daily scheduling decisions, find housing, and enjoy appropriate social and community-based activities. We also help them connect with other programs offered in the community to meet their ongoing therapy, counseling, and medical health needs .

After successfully completing the Transitional Living program, our youth are ready to live independently without adult supervision—by themselves or with roommates, often in an apartment or a college dorm.

Independent Living

(Males and Females, Ages 18-21)

Our goal is to help every kid we serve live an independent, pro-social life—one that’s safe and healthy for themselves and others.

Our Independent Living program is a final step toward independence for older adolescents or young adults who have successfully completed our Transitional Living program (or some type of formal program) while demonstrating healthy, responsible, and safe decision-making and self-monitoring skills.

The youth in this program live on their own—often in an apartment or college dorm—without daily staff supervision and without adult rules and structure. Our staff offers ongoing support and guidance, performs regular check-ins, and helps the youth find a place to live, find work (and keep it), and/or adapt to college life.

We also help them connect with other programs offered in the community to meet their ongoing therapy, counseling, and medical health needs.

Foster Family Support Programs

Through our Starfish Family Homes program, we offer support services for foster care parents, families, and youth. We also provide assistance for foster care licensing agencies in Illinois’ Kankakee and Iroquois Counties. If you are in need of foster support services, contact LaVella Darby at ldarby@nexusindianoaks.org.

Nexus-Indian Oaks Family Healing

101 N. Bramble Street
Manteno, IL 60950
815-802-3700
Fax: 815-468-2310
Human Resources: 815-802-3700
Contact Us
Admissions Information
Karen Zucker
815-802-3720
Completed referral forms can be faxed to 815-468-2310