Governor Quinn’s Budget Slashes Youth Services for Illinois Teens; 3,000 Kids Likely Pushed out of Emergency Homeless Shelters; Madigan, Cross, Cullerton, and Radogno Urged to Restore Funding

(Springfield, IL) – Illinois child welfare advocates have joined forces to roll back Governor Pat Quinn’s proposed budget cuts of $6.9 million that will tear a hole in the state safety net for 50,000 young people many of whom are annually diverted from detention centers, foster care, psychiatric hospitals, and homelessness.

The Child Care Association of Illinois and the Illinois Collaboration on Youth are jointly working to persuade state lawmakers to set aside Quinn’s budget and restore the $6.9 million to the state youth services budget.

“Governor Quinn’s budget cuts to emergency housing will likely push 3,000 youth back to the streets due to lack of space in homeless youth shelters,” said Marge Berglind, President of the Child Care Association of Illinois.

In addition to cuts to homeless youth shelters, Quinn’s budget eliminates out-of-school time activities for over 4,000 youth, Berglind noted.

One budget cut that makes no economic sense and would quickly cost the state more money, according to Berglind, is the program that diverts hundreds of youth from prison.

“By cutting the delinquency intervention program that keeps youth of out of prison, which costs approximately $1,200 annually for each kid, the state will end up paying an average of $70,000 more a year per youth if they go to prison.”

“Cut $1,200 and end up spending $70,000? That makes no economic sense,” said Berglind.

“We are working hard to ensure that Speaker Michael Madigan, House Leader Tom Cross, Senate President John Cullerton, and Senate Leader Christine Radogno hear our message to restore the $6.9 million to the youth services budget,” said Berglind. “Once, they hear our message, we are confident lawmakers will restore the money.”

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