fbpx Nexus-Onarga Family Healing
Everyone deserves to reach their full potential and I’m just happy to help.
Laura, Administrative Assistant at Nexus-Onarga
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 beautiful setting on a historic campus.

Nexus-Onarga Family Healing is located in a quaint, campus-like setting in the quiet community of Onarga, Illinois, about 90 miles south of Chicago. Every youth in residence has a private bedroom, and we work hard to make our facility as home-like and welcoming as possible.

Programs for Males
(Ages 10-20)

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
School/Vocational Training

Grand Prairie School

(Grades 6-12)

Grand Prairie School is our on-campus, private school that serves youth receiving treatment at Nexus-Onarga Family Healing.

Considered an integral component of the treatment process, Grand Prairie School is equipped to provide middle school through high school academic services, as well as special educational instruction, including therapy and behavioral intervention/support.

Our teachers and staff are fully trained in therapeutic approaches and techniques, and we have internal systems in place to ensure collaboration between the school and the residential programs. Residential program staff is readily available in the event of a crisis with a student.

Grand Prairie School operates on a 12-month schedule that allows students to enter during any month of the year. Differentiated classrooms and individualized planning maximize each student's strengths and learning styles. In addition, students receive extra support services from behavioral specialists and a school therapist.

Students receive instruction as outlined in the common core standards, as well as instruction in study skills, life and career planning, drug and alcohol prevention, and sexuality, as appropriate for age and grade.

Specialized educational programming for youth with Grand Prairie School is nationally accredited through the North Central Association Commission on Accreditation and School Improvement (NCA-CASI), an accreditation division of AdvancED. Teachers and special education staff are certified and licensed by the Illinois Department of Education, which means credits can transfer to any school upon a client's discharge.

Vocational Opportunities

(Ages 15-20)

We provide several opportunities for youth to build vocational skills. Grand Prairie School students can take classes through our Industrial Arts program, which includes auto maintenance and carpentry skills. Cornerstone Café, operated by Nexus-Onarga in downtown Onarga, provides employment-training opportunities in business management, customer service, and barista skills for our older youth. Grand Prairie School youth also have the chance to gain Public Health Certifications.

Transition Support

Transitional Living

(Ages 17-20)

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

(Ages 18-20)

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.

Therapeutic Foster Care
(Males, Ages 12-17)

Our Therapeutic Foster Care program helps youth and their families in the transition and reunification process after completing a Nexus-Onarga Residential Treatment program. These services are currently only available for youth who are placed at Nexus-Onarga through the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services.

Our two licensed foster care homes are located near Nexus-Onarga's campus, and each serve 2-3 male youth at a time. These homes provide a therapeutic, community-based home setting that supports and encourages a youth's continued treatment progress. We work closely with the youth's designated family to support frequent family interaction, establish strong family communication, and involve families in day-to-day care, activities, and treatment decisions. Our goal is to help create positive family experiences and memories.

Nexus-Onarga Family Healing

110 North Locust Street
Onarga, IL 60955
815-268-4001
Fax: 815-268-7977
Human Resources:: 815-268-4001 ext. 05504
Contact Us
Admissions Information
Donna Ryan
815-268-4001 ext. 05506
Completed referral form can be faxed to 815-268-7977.