Let’s get in touch!


Exceptional Care & Training Center, a non-profit organization located in Sterling, Illinois, provides compassionate care for persons with severe and profound intellectual disability through our residential nursing care program and adult Day Training program.

At Exceptional Care & Training Center we have days filled with activities and events for our residents and the community. We invite you to tour our center today!

Community Highlights:

Habilitative programs including art centers, day training, recreational activities and more

Specialized nursing and medical professional on staff

24-hour nursing

Individualized therapy services

Letter From the Executive Director
Welcome to Exceptional Care & Training Center,

At Exceptional Care & Training Center providing exceptional care is our passion and has been since 1979. Our professional, caring staff treats each resident individually and are dedicated to providing an environment that promotes health, independence and maximum quality of life.

I joined ECTC in 1994 and have served as the Executive Director since 1998. Over the years, I have been able to witness the loving care with which our staff interacts with our residents. At ECTC, the long tenure of our caregivers provide stable support for our residents and assure the continuity of care that each resident needs. We know it takes everyone working together to make certain that our residents receive the best care possible.

At ECTC our mission is to provide assistance and service to persons with severe and profound intellectually disabilities. We know that our work is successful by the collective effort of our employees, community volunteers and supporters.

Thank you for taking the time to learn more about ECTC and what we do!


Melissa Francque

Executive Director


Day Training

ECTC’s day training program operates 255 days per year. Hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday-Friday. It is open to residents of the community, as well as those residing at ECTC. The program’s intent is to: (1) continue to expand upon previously acquired skills of each person served; (2) work toward independent living through use of interdisciplinary skill training; (3) execute individualized program plans that have functional goals rather than task-oriented goals; (4) provide appropriate recreational activities; and (5) provide community support.

Foster Grandparent

Being a Foster Grandparent is a rewarding experience and provides a useful and meaningful purpose in the life of the grandparent. Besides assisting the resident and the site supervisor, the Foster Grandparents also expand on their own personal lives with friendships and experiences. They keep mentally active and utilize their special talents, interests, and creative abilities.

Recreational Activities

We recognize that everyone likes to have a good time. At Swann Special Care Center, we have a recreational program that is planned by our Activity Department in which group and one-to-one activities are scheduled. Our residents enjoy community outings as well as quiet activities in-house. These diverse opportunities help to broaden our residents’ awareness and interest in their environment.

Art Centers

​Through our art centers, our residents are provided with a unique means of expressing themselves – through art and exploration – while expanding their senses and learning new concepts and skills. Our focus is to educate the community at large that persons who experience severe and profound mental retardation are incredibly gifted and that they can and do create beautiful, expressive pieces of art.

Skilled Care

Our comprehensive service system is capable of meeting the habilitation, restorative and long-term needs of individuals who are victims of genetic disorders, birth trauma, accidents, physical abuse and/or debilitating or life threatening diseases. We provide 24-hour nursing, including intravenous therapy, gastrostomy tube feedings, plus oxygen administration and palliative/end of life care. Each resident is thoroughly evaluated on an individual and on-going basis. Physical, occupational and speech therapies are available from our trained staff.


Thank you for considering Exceptional Care & Training Center. Residents are referred by such sources as PAS agents, hospital discharge planners, physicians, community service boards and families of current residents. Families can also refer themselves for a loved one’s care.

Our Admissions Committee conducts a comprehensive evaluation of the applicant’s medical history, physical and psycho-social factors.

Considerations weighed by our Admissions Committee include:

  • Age
  • Ambulatory Status
  • Level of Functioning
  • Medical Condition
  • Behavior Concerns
  • Discharge Potential
  • Urgency of Need for Placement

All applicants must meet the following requirements:

1. Be dependent in four or more of the following areas:
  • Motor Development
  • Dressing Skills
  • Grooming Skills
  • Toileting Skills
  • Eating Skills
  • Language Development
  • Productive Capacity
2. Be able to benefit from skilled nursing care and a rehabilitation program.

Require continuous skilled nursing care and medical supervision for complicated conditions, chronic long term or recurring medical conditions, such as:

  • Uncontrolled Seizure Activity
  • Gastronomy
  • Tracheotomy
  • Immune Compromised
  • Respiratory Issues
3. Complete authorized forms to obtain additional required information

An admission is considered weighing all characteristics to determine the need for place. If you are considering placing a loved one at Exceptional Care & Training Center, we encourage you to begin the application process. Click on the link below to download the application form. You may mail the application to our address at 2601 Woodlawn Road, Sterling, IL 61081 or bring it with you on your tour.

*The facility is licensed as a MCDD Facility; however, applicants/residents over age 22 will be considered if the Admission Committee determines that either initial or continued placement in the facility is appropriate because of the applicant/resident’s physical and mental functioning status, and that the facility has the service resource to meet the needs of the applicant/resident. The Admission Committee shall further determine that placement does not constitute a serious danger to the other residents.

Get Involved


Volunteers play an important role at Exceptional Care and Training. We offer unique opportunities for services in a wide variety of areas.

Volunteer Opportunities May Include:

  • Gardening (flower beds, weeding)
  • Taking residents on walks
  • Story telling
  • Ministry
  • Assisting with general maintenance and upkeep
  • Helping with the Art Program
  • Volunteering at Outings
  • Taking a pet to Pet Therapy for residents

Have questions or need more information?