Kotowski Bill to Help High-Risk Kids in DCFS Residential, Group Homes Sweeps Senate, Heads to House; Advocates Hopefull on Quinn

(Springfield, IL) – The Illinois Senate yesterday voted 56-0 to create a new approach to help Illinois abused and neglected children living in residential and group homes get more sophisticated care and avoid hospitalization.

State Senator Dan Kotowski

State Senator Dan Kotowski

The measure, Senate Bill 1372 Sponsored by State Senator Dan Kotowski (D-33) would develop a performance-based program and payment model for the state residential foster care services to be implemented by the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services.

“Performance contracts for DCFS residential and group homes provide new opportunities to develop innovative programming to provide enhanced clinical treatment and to ease transitions to school, home, and work for kids,” said Marge Berglind, President of the Child Care Association of Illinois.

The bill, co-sponsored by Senator Jacqueline  Collins (D-Chicago), would require DCFS to set new performance-based requirements, financial rates, and outcomes for residential treatment providers.

“Long-term savings from lowered hospitalization costs can be reinvested in new services that help close treatment gaps and help sustain the benefits for kid from treatment over time,” said Berglind.

The bill’s key provisions include:

  • DCFS must properly finance residential performance based programs
  • DCFS, DHS, ISBE and DJJ must work together to set new performance based requirements and rates for residential treatment
  • Child welfare agencies will work with other state agencies to develop similar performance-based goals and outcomes
  • DHS, ISBE and DJJ must establish residential rates that are at least equal to the DCFS performance-contracting rate

“We are very grateful to Senator Kotowski and Senator Collins for their aggressive and successful efforts to win Senate approval of the bill,” said Berglind.

The bill now moves to the House. The chief sponsor is State Rep. Paul Froehlich (D-Schaumburg).

“If the bill passes the House, we are hopefull Governor Pat Quinn will approve it,” Berglind added.

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Explore posts in the same categories: DCFS, Department of Juvenile Justice, DHS, Illinois Senate, Illinois State Board of Education

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