The MILL receives top accreditation award

The MILL receives top accreditation award


The Motivating Individuals for Living and Learning (MILL) has received accreditation from the Council on Accreditation for Children and Family Services.

This is the first receipt of certification from the leading social service monitoring agency for The MILL, a residential treatment center and therapeutic day school for abused, neglected and at-risk youth. Nearly all youth served at The MILL come from highly dysfunctional and/or economically disadvantaged families that may have a significant history of criminality, neglect, abuse, mental illness or substance abuse. The agency provides comprehensive counseling and educational programs for ages 7 through 21 and focuses on positive outcomes.

“We have achieved a status of professionalism that specifically addresses the best practices in child welfare,” said Bob Thorud, president and CEO of The MILL. “This is a gold-seal approval from an international accreditation body and speaks to the quality of services, programs and treatment.”

The Council of Accreditation in New York City is an international, independent not-for-profit child and family services accrediting organization. The COA accredits nearly 1,400 public and private organizations in the United States and Canada that provide child welfare services, behavioral health care services, and financial management/debt counseling services. The organization promotes best-practice standards and champions quality services for children, youth and families. The organization also helps enable organizations to receive additional public and private funding support.

“The accreditation lasts four years and is renewed only after meeting ever-increasing and demanding standards,” Thorud said. “Our staff worked for over a year to acquire this accreditation and it speaks well of our services. This accomplishment means a great deal to our referring agents, which include parents, social service agencies and state agencies.”

The mission of The MILL is to help at-risk youth develop appropriate attitudes, behaviors and skills that will help them lead responsible and productive lifestyles. Founded in 1978, The MILL is a not-for-profit 501 (C )(3) organization. In 1980, The MILL was approved by the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) as a non-public school to serve behavior disordered and educable handicapped students. The facility is located on a 27-acre site in a rural setting on the northwest side of Rockford at 3445 Elmwood Road and employs 100 people. The highly structured residential program of The MILL has the capacity for 84 youth (male and female) and currently houses 72 students. Youth are referred to The MILL by parents, school districts, county probation offices, and state agencies Department of Children & Family Services (DCFS), Department of Corrections (DOC), ISBE, and Department of Human Services. Youth placed at The MILL have been labeled Behavior Disordered (BD) and/or Emotionally Disturbed (ED). Many have learning disabilities, substance abuse, or truancy issues that cause them to perform below grade level.

The MILL has been the recipient of several United Way honors, including The Rainbow Award, Rock Valley Gold Award, Achievement Award and Pacesetter Award. The MILL is licensed by the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS). The MILL memberships include: Alliance for Children and Families, Child Care Association of Illinois, Illinois Association of Private Schools for Exceptional Children, Illinois Council on Training, Illinois Interagency Athletic Association, Illinois Probation and Court Services and Strength Based Services International. Information: 877-3440, or visit the Web site at

Enjoy The Rock River Times? Help spread the word!