For more than 80 years, the Centers for Independence has strengthened communities by helping people advance their total health. CFI is dedicated to assisting people of all ages and abilities achieve their fullest level of independence through a supportive environment that fosters hope. CFI’s unmatched breadth of services and resources allows others to find value in themselves and see a path forward.
In 2020,we won the Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce Focus on the Future Award and was a BizTimes Nonprofit of the Year nominee.
The Centers for Independence assists people of all abilities, ages, and socioeconomic standing. CFI’s vast array of services and programs are based on community needs and are offered to every client, patient, and consumer who seeks them. In many cases, CFI brings solutions to people who might not find assistance anywhere else.
The Centers for Independence integrates health care and social services. CFI’s commitment to total health with a trauma-informed care approach results in a framework of wellness that improves lives, families, and communities. CFI’s programs, which are committed to helping people maintain control and choice over their care, serve people who need:
Speaking for the entire team, I can say unequivocally that we found your organization to be exceptional in terms of service quality and its commitment to realizing its mission.”
CFI has been providing life-changing programs for people struggling to gain independence since 1938. It began as Jewish Vocational Service to help new immigrant families fleeing oppression in Europe settle in our community.
Since then, the agency has grown to 30-plus programs and help more than 20,000 individuals annually from throughout Wisconsin on their path to independence.Read CFI's 2021 Annual Report
For more than 34 years, Teri has dedicated her career to improving programs and services for children, youth and adults with special needs. Before joining MCFI, she had a distinguished 16-year career as president and CEO of SaintA, and founded PATH Wisconsin, a child-welfare agency that provides family based services in multiple states.
Bridget has 30 years of experience working in finance for nonprofit organizations. She has a CPA and a Master’s in Taxation and a broad experience in all aspects of financial oversight.
Chris has more than 30 years in the nonprofit sector in strategic planning, fundraising and new service development. He is passionate about serving people with disabilities and disadvantages.
Pamela is a seasoned information technology professional with more than 20 years of experience in both managerial and technical capacities.
Heidi has more than 25 years of experience leading diverse teams in food service, various commercial service operations and training programs. Her career path and education has focused on creating a healthier community through increasing access to fresh food, creating jobs and helping people reach their career goals.
John has a master’s degree in health care administration and more than 25 years of experience in behavioral health. He is passionate about caring for the total health of clients at WHCG.
Jackson has more than 25 years of professional experience supporting people with disabilities directly and as an advocate and in a strategic leadership capacity. Prior to joining CFI, she was the chief program strategy officer for Aspire in Chicago, where she, coincidentally, worked in college providing support to group home residents.
We listen and evolve together, working with internal and external resources that best help individuals, families, partners, and coworkers achieve goals. Success depends on constructive dialogue and effective collaboration skills.
CFI is dedicated to delivering health care and social services that strictly conform to the highest standards of accountability for administration, clinical, business, marketing and financial management.
Our Code of Ethics contains general guidelines for providing services and conducting business with the highest standards of ethics. We are committed to an environment where open, honest communications are the expectation, not the exception.
We believe in and practice self-directed care, meaning that those we serve, or their representatives or guardians, have the authority to make decisions about the types of services they receive.
If you believe there has been a violation of policies or standards, please feel free to contact Christopher Williams, Chief Strategy and Operations Officer, 414-937-2234.
To file a complaint about a client incident, contact our help line at 414-290-2025 ext. 7525.
To access your records, you will need to fill out one of the following forms, either electronically and emailed back or one that can be printed, filled out and faxed. The printable form is also available in Spanish.
The Centers for Independence is committed to creating a diverse, inclusive and culturally competent culture that best reflects and serves our clients, our staff and our community.
Diversity is fundamental to every aspect of CFI, from the mission, vision, and values to the governance and business planning of the organization.
CFI is a pioneer in cultural competency and widely recognized for initiatives that advance and welcome people of all races and ethnicities, the LGBTQ community, veterans, and people of all ages and abilities.
As a strong community partner, CFI is among other Milwaukee nonprofit organizations that have pledged to take steps to dismantle structural racism in the community, including diversifying their boards and staff.
Why are early intervention programs successful?▼
According to research, learning and development are at their highest rate in the preschool years. Some children, due to economic or social or developmental delays, risk missing some of the most important learning and developmental milestones. Early intervention helps keep children on a path to making the most of abilities and skills developed during the early years.
What does person-first and person-centered mean?▼
A person centered approach is about ensuring someone with a disability is an equal partner in planning, developing and monitoring care to make sure it meets their unique needs and wishes.
How are CFI’s programs funded?▼
CFI programs receive funds from a variety of sources, including Milwaukee County, the Department of Public Instruction, the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation, Medicaid, Medicare, commercial insurance companies, private pay, grants, private foundations and individual donors.
Does CFI only serve people with disabilities?▼
While this is our primary focus; we also serve all people with barriers to success. For instance, our charter school is all inclusive, serving children with and without disabilities.