Cook County Family Court

    Cook County Family Court


Children and Teens Speak

Children and Teens Speak is sponsored and supervised by the Circuit Court of Cook County Domestic Relations Division’s Family Mediation Services department, and run by students seeking a master’s degree in Counseling at the Family Institute at Northwestern University, who are trained and certified Rainbows facilitators.

Program Highlights

Children and Teens Speak is a free, four-hour, in-person Rainbows for All Children support group for children whose parents are navigating a divorce, separation, or custody dispute. Groups meet on certain Saturdays in the Children’s Advocacy Room at the Family Mediation Service Offices (69 W. Washington Street, 10th Floor, Chicago, IL 60602). Snacks will be served.


  • Participation is by court order only.
  • Youth are referred to the program by judges who will provide detailed registration information on the court order.
  • For more information, please call 312-603-1540.

How does it work?

The program is secular and designed for any youth, age 5-17, from any economic, racial, ethnic, and religious background who is experiencing a parents’ divorce, separation, or custody dispute. Unlike individual therapy, Children and Teens Speak participants grieve, communicate, and heal among peers, helping them feel less alone in their grief and gain confidence that only peer support can provide.

What will the meeting provide?

During the four-hour course, participants will:

  • Meet other youth who are experiencing similar life-changing events;
  • Learn to identify and begin to use appropriate and effective coping skills;
  • Begin to understand that the divorce, separation or custody dispute is not their fault;
  • Have an opportunity to share their worries and fears;
  • Start to develop and strengthen their problem-solving skills;
  • Initiate the process to develop and strengthen their anger management skills; and
  • Begin to learn how to manage their anxiety and reduce their emotional pain and suffering.