Skip to main content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.
The guide below is intended to familiarize you with resources to help you complete your needs assessment assignment. Please note that many of the services and resources listed below are impacted by COVID-19; most organizations have posted notices on their website detailing how they are responding to the situation.
1. Community Demographics.
- Community Data Snapshots: view community profiles compiled by the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning (CMAP). These snapshots include "demographics, housing, employment, transportation habits, retail sales, property values, and land use." There is a snapshot for every Chicago Community Area (such as Uptown, or Rogers Park), as well as all municipalities in the state.
- Chicago Needs Assessment Tool. This site allows you to "access information on children, families, and their communities in discrete areas of Chicago" using a map interface, with a focus information about children under 6. You can choose the specific area that you would like to get results for, which doesn't need to match up to a community area. A helpful video on the site explains how to use the tool with step by step instructions.
Social Services/ Community Organizations
1. City of Chicago Resources
2. Immigrant and Refugee Support
- Immigrant Family Resource Program (IFRP): this is a program coordinated by the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights. The goal of the program to connect low-income immigrant families to public benefits, such as healthcare, food assistance, childcare, housing, etc. This document lists the websites of the partner agencies that can help individuals sign up for public benefits, as well as the languages spoken at each organization (there is capacity in 59 languages).
3. Search for Nonprofits and Community Organizations in Chicago.
- One Good Deed Chicago: this site has a very extensive list of nonprofit organizations in Chicago that can be sorted by category. You can also search the list for keywords. Once you select an organization, you'll be directed to a landing page with a short description of the organization's purpose as well as a link to its website (located on the right side of the screen).
Childcare and School Resources
1. Resources for Selecting and Paying for Childcare.
2. Resources for Selecting Schools.
- CPS School Locator: enter a Chicago address to find the assigned neighborhood elementary and high schools. Click on the name of the school to see a profile and more information.
- Go CPS: school age students in Chicago are eligible to attend their neighborhood school, or apply to other schools around the city. This site can be used to research school options, and outlines the application process for applying to schools.
- Greatschools.org: this website includes demographic information about public and private schools around the country (including Chicago and the surrounding suburbs). It also includes ratings from parents, teachers, and students.
3. Services and Resources for Diverse Learners
- CPS Diverse Learner Supports and Services: this page describes the services and programs available through Chicago Public Schools for students with specialized learning and/or medical needs.
- Disability Resources in Illinois: this list of organizations was compiled by the Illinois State Library, and includes both local and national institutions.
- Resource Directory for Children and Family with Special Needs: This resource directory was compiled by University of Illinois at Chicago's Division of Specialized Care for Children. While the organization specializes in assisting children with specific medical issues, the resource list includes links to a wide variety of organizations that can support children with special needs.
Public Library Resources
1. Chicago Public Library Resources.
2. Find Public Libraries Outside of Chicago.
- RAILS (Reaching Across Illinois Library System): if the community your are researching is outside of Chicago, you can use the website to search for public libraries throughout Illinois. This list includes websites as well as addresses for all branches.
1. Health Insurance.
- All Kids: this program is offered by the state of Illinois in order to provide children with comprehensive healthcare. The cost of the coverage depends on family income, and is often much lower than other options.
- Get Care Illinois: this site is designed to help people sign up for and use healthcare coverage in Illinois. It explains the difference between Medicaid and Marketplace coverage and how to know which option is best for you.
2. Community Health Centers.