Community-Based Clinical ServicesIn-Home & Family Services Offerings
Who We Serve:
- Autism Spectrum Disorders
- Intellectual disabilities
- Developmental disabilities
- Mental Health Diagnoses
- Experience of trauma, including post-traumatic stress disorder and abuse and neglect
- Clients with delays in the realms of adaptive, daily living, and social skills
- Clients with delays and/or added supports needed to effectively communicate, ie: augmentative and alternative communication (AAC)
Post-Adoption and Guardianship
Who We are Not Equipped to Serve:
- Clients who have been determined to require more than outpatient, community-based care.
- Clients who exhibit extreme behaviors that require more than 1 staff
- Clients who have severe medically complexities (as primary service intervention need)
- Clients who are actively abusing substances
- Clients with a diagnosis of Conduct Disorder and/or severe difficulties with conduct that would negatively impact service intervention and/or extreme risk of safety to self and others.
- Clients who exhibit sexually aggressive behaviors presenting a risk of harm to self and/or others.
Where Services are Provided:
Menu of Available Services
Therapy & Counseling
Behavior Therapy (ABA)
Community Support & Skills Training
Meet the Team
Kat Kedryna, MA, BCBA
Director of Home-Based and Behavioral Services
Kat Kedryna, MA, BCBA, is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst living in the north-western suburbs of Chicago. She has her undergraduate degree from North Park University in Counseling Psychology and her Master’s degree from The Chicago School of Professional Psychology in Psychology, with a concentration in Applied Behavior Analysis. Kat started her career in ABA in 2013 in a clinical setting, where she fell in love with the field and seeing the progress of the children and adolescents that she served as an ABA therapist. Kat has experience working with individual with developmental disabilities and their families across a variety of settings including clinical, residential, school, home, and community settings. Currently, Kat serves as the Director of Home and Community Services at Little City. She is passionate about empowering families, individuals, and staff to meet their fullest potential through ABA therapy, training, and advocacy.
Ashley Porter, MSW
Ashley recently graduated with her Master’s in Social Work with a specialization in Child & Family Services from Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, where she also obtained a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology. While Ashley was obtaining her MSW, she interned at her campus’s counseling center for 10 months as a student counselor working with students struggling with depression, anxiety, grief, homesickness, and adjustment to college life.
Ashley’s experience in child welfare began in the role of case manager. She has worked with Caritas Family Solutions in Carbondale and Our Children’s Homestead in Naperville, where she provided case management to children with special needs.
Ashley’s long-term goal is to obtain an LCSW and start a private practice in low-income neighborhoods to stop the negative stigma around mental health.
Behavior Services Supervisor
Jess Podraza, MA, LPC
Licensed Professional Counselor
Jess is a Licensed Professional Counselor and Art Therapist with training in trauma, attachment and therapeutic crisis intervention. Jess holds a Master of Arts in Counseling & Art Therapy from Adler University in Chicago. Jess has experience working in congregate care settings providing trauma-informed therapy and case management services to adolescents and young adults with persistent mental health needs including mood disorders, PTSD, ADHD, and neurodevelopmental disorders.
Jess uses artmaking to help foster connection, strengthen self-esteem and self-awareness, resolve conflict and cultivate emotional resilience. Jess integrates elements of evidence-based practices such as Dialectical Behavioral Therapy and Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy into her approach as a foundation to safely explore emotions, memories, and personal narratives. Jess believes that growth and healing occur within safe and trusting relationships and is committed to nurturing meaningful connections with individuals and their families to promote long-lasting change and resilience.
Emily McCabe, MSW, LCSW
Licensed Clinical Social Worker
Emily is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker who has engaged in extensive training on treating complex trauma and building attachment and resiliency in youth and family systems. Emily earned her master’s degree in Social Work in May 2013 from the University of Illinois, with a dual concentration in School Social Work and Mental Health practices. Emily obtained her LCSW in April 2016.
Emily originally joined Little City in April 2014 as a Therapist, where she worked for six years with youth and families, until leaving in August 2019 to join Chicago Public Schools as a School Social Worker. Emily returned to Little City in July 2021 as a Therapist. Prior to working at Little City in 2014, Emily’s professional experience in the human services field began in 2003 as a Direct Support Professional in a group home for adults with developmental and intellectual disabilities and mental illness dual diagnoses; since then Emily has worked in a wide variety of roles with adults, adolescents and children with intellectual/developmental disabilities as an Activity Director, Job Coach, Resident Services Director, Qualified Intellectual Disabilities Professional, Residential Program Administrator, and as a Planned Parenthood-trained Sexual Health Educator. Emily also worked as a research assistant on a study of the effects of chronic parental mental illness. Additionally, Emily has experience in providing clinical services at the elementary and high school levels.
Emily’s practice is trauma-informed and client centered, utilizing a wide variety of treatment modalities such as trauma-focused cognitive behavioral therapy, attachment-based therapy, motivational interviewing, bibliotherapy, art therapy, music therapy, dialectical behavior therapy, family systems therapy, directive and non-directive play therapy, solution focused brief therapy, and mindfulness.
Addison Ross, MSW, LCSW
Addison is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker with specialized training in the treatment of trauma and attachment building in children & adolescents. Addison has been practicing in the state of Illinois since 2017 when she obtained her Master of Social Work degree, with a specialization in Children & Families, from Loyola University Chicago. Addison earned her bachelor’s degree in Social Work and Psychology from Hope College in Holland, Michigan.
Addison has experience in treating various mental health needs, including but not limited to; Depression and Mood disorders, Anxiety disorders, Trauma related disorders, Reactive Attachment Disorder, and Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder. Addison utilizes elements of both Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Play Therapy to create a safe and supportive space for healing for her clients.
Catresa Hicks, MA, LPC
Catresa is a Licensed Professional Counselor with a concentration in community counseling. She holds a Master of Arts degree in community counseling and a Bachelor of Arts degree in criminal justice with a minor in psychology from Governor’s State University. Catresa also has specialized training in the treatment of trauma within the foster care arena, including trauma-based behavioral symptoms.
Catresa has extensive experience in the field of Foster Care & Adoption, previously holding roles as a case manager and licensing specialist. She has worked within the foster care system since 1999 and continues her quest to help children and families to succeed socially and emotionally. Catresa has also effectively administered caregiver training to support parents in learning and applying various processes to better manage both their children’s behaviors and their own responses to those behaviors.
Catresa’s ultimate goal is for her clients to become and to remain mentally healthy and productive citizens within their communities and beyond.
Keshia Smith, MS, LPC
Keshia (She/ Her/ Hers) is a Licensed Professional Counselor with a specialization in working with children, adolescents, and teens who have experienced trauma, transitions, and everyday life challenges. Before joining Little City Foundation, Keshia worked as a Crisis Counselor where she assisted children, adolescents, and teens in crisis situations with brief counseling. Keshia’s previous experience also includes working in Therapeutic Recreation environments where she supported children and teens with moderate-severe cognitive and/ or physical disabilities.
With a B.F.A in Acting from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, and a Master of Science in Counseling from Johns Hopkins University, Keshia cohesively merges her degrees in her utilization of Play/Creative Arts-based interventions. She believes that therapy is a non-judgmental collaborative experience where the Client is the expert on their life. She aims to create a therapeutic environment that is inclusive and welcoming for all who inhabit it.
“If children feel safe, they can take risks, ask questions, make mistakes, learn to trust, share their feelings, and grow.” ~ Alfie Kohn
Joshua Przybyla, LSW, MSW
Joshua is a Licensed Social Worker with specialized training in attachment and trauma focused therapy. Joshua has several years of experience working as an Addictions Counselor as well as working as an Early Childhood Mental Health Therapist in an early childhood specialized program utilizing a collaborative interdisciplinary team to address trauma and abandonment in young children and caregivers alongside a team of occupational therapists, speech therapists and physical therapists. Joshua obtained his Master of Social Work degree from the University of Cincinnati and his bachelor’s degree was earned from The Ohio State University in Sociology.
Joshua has extensive experience in the world of Foster Care & Adoption working with children with autism and other intellectual and developmental disabilities utilizing a blend of unique practice techniques such as; Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy, Motivational interviewing, family systems theory, and non-directive and directive play therapy. Josh also has experience as a Case Manager for the Single Room Housing Assistance Corporation, a Residential Treatment Specialist at Lawrence Hall Youth Services, and as a Clinical Mental Health Coordinator for Little City Foundation’s Children Residential Program.
Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA)
Amy Board, MSW, LCSW
Director, Community Mental Health Services
Amy Board began working at Little City in 2013 as a therapist in the Foster Care & Adoption Program, moving into the role of Clinical Supervisor in 2015, and Director of Community Mental Health Services in 2020. Previously Amy worked for the Fraser Autism Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota as the lead clinician in a Day Treatment program for toddlers and preschool-age children on the autism spectrum.
Amy is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and holds a Master of Social Work from the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities and a Bachelor of Social Work from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Amy has worked in a diversity of environments across Wisconsin, Minnesota and Illinois, including elementary schools, community centers, and public housing. Amy has specialized training in a variety of trauma-focused treatment modalities, including Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT) and the Attachment, Regulation and Competency (ARC) framework. Amy has also been trained in Stanley Greenspan’s DIR/Floortime™ model for children with autism, as well as the Early Start Denver Model (ESDM).
As Director of Community Mental Health, Amy’s goal is to broaden community understanding and acceptance of mental health challenges and to make services accessible to all of those in need. Amy is additionally dedicated to social justice and ensuring that Little City’s mental health services embody the values of diversity, equity and inclusion.
Chase A. Thomas, CNP, HS-BCP is the full-time Instructional Coach at ChanceLight Behavioral Health, Therapy and Education. In Chase’s role at ChanceLight, he serves as a key member of the site leadership team. He is responsible for oversight of the classrooms from an operational perspective and assists teams in the creation, maintenance and production of IEPs.
Chase’s role also sets the pace for both academic and functional classrooms and their day to day performance and environment to assure maximum independence for students with challenging behaviors while maintaining safety throughout the campus. His position also works with teachers and provides support relative to instructions regarding community life, vocation, leisure, domestic issues, academic learning, independent living and social skill.
Chase also holds various leadership roles within various organizations ranging from public office to service within Non-governmental organizations. He is excited to apply his academic and professional background to the Little City Foundation as a Behavior Therapist.
Kinga Wagner, MA, LCPC
Kinga is a bilingual (Polish/English) Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor with training in trauma and attachment, trauma informed parenting, and behavioral concerns. She has worked with youth in specialized foster care for over 5 years. Kinga has experience working with youth and their families facing many mental health challenges including mood disorders, ADHD, PTSD, and emotional disturbances. She also works with children and adolescents who have developmental disabilities such as Autism, prenatal substance exposure, and intellectual disabilities. Prior to working with youth in the child welfare system, Kinga worked in inpatient psychiatric hospitals for several years in various roles and has experience working with individuals in crisis.
She gained her master’s degree in clinical psychology from Roosevelt University, and bachelor’s degree from Northern Illinois University in Psychology. Kinga utilizes evidence-based practices such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, and Attachment, Regulation, and Competency (ARC) Framework. Kinga additionally facilitates trainings for caregivers on various topics specifically trauma, de-escalation, and Autism.
Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA)
- Medicaid/Managed Care Insurance through YouthCare, Meridian, County Care, Aetna, BCBS, Molina…Anticipated Fall 2020
- Private Pay
- Agency Subcontracts
- DHS Home-Based Waiver
Accreditations & Certifications:
- DCFS – Adolescent, Specialized, and Traditional/Relative Care contracts
- DHS – Home-Based Supports
- Medicaid – Community Mental Health Center
- CARF – Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities
- Human Rights Campaign – All Children All Families
“Amazing! I cried when I heard [my daughter] is going to get the support she deserves!
Thanks so much!”