Governor Blagojevich Urged to Sign Budget Bill for Abused and Neglected Children

(Chicago, IL) — The Child Care Association today called on Governor Rod Blagojevich to sign legislation to restore $21 million to the state budget for abused and neglected children.

Marge Berglind, CEO, Child Care Association of Illinois

Marge Berglind, CEO, Child Care Association of Illinois

“Like Illinois state parks and historic sites, Department of Children and Family Services programs for abused and neglected children have their own budget cut-doomsday scenario,” said Marge Berglind, CEO, Child Care Association of Illinois.”Unlike state parks and historic sites, however, if the DCFS budget cuts go unrestored, its programs’ physical presence will shrink by 40%.”

Most DCFS Systems of Care programs run by private agencies—whose budgets were cut more than 40% by DCFS—will shrivel. This program provides critical emergency counseling, crisis intervention, and concrete supports to foster parents when the children experience trauma and behavior problems.

“Without restored funding, care to nearly 1,200 children in this program will be lost. Employees will be fired. Office space shuttered. Programs closed,” said Berglind.

In September, the Illinois Senate voted 55-0 and the House 113-0 to restore funding to maintain this care for the 1,200 abused and neglected children.

“What we also know is that without the money these children will once again be victimized—but this time by the State of Illinois,” said Berglind

Berglind is urging the Governor to approve S.B. 1103 and restore the $21,219,715 budget cuts imposed on the Department of Children and Family Services as soon as possible.

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