Since 1985 an Illinois nonprofit has helped people with HIV by supporting their loved ones with a broad range of legal and psychosocial services. With a focus on the unique needs of parents and children, Families' and Children's AIDS Network offers Cook County residents service programs, education, and advocacy.
Retreats are at the core of the FCAN's mission. Families meet twice a year -- teens, annually -- to learn about the virus and advocacy.
In the arena of policy reform FCAN contributed to the development of legislation that allows families to plan for the time when they are unable to provide personal care. An adoption law also anticipates declining health among family members and provides for legal options in that situation.
FCAN spreads the word about HIV through educational programs, individual counseling, family meetings, and peer outreach. In 2008, FCAN's efforts in HIV education garnered the Illinois Department of Public Health's "In Our Own Backyard" award.