Court Order Prompts Governor Pat Quinn to Reverse DCFS Illinois Doomsday Budget Cuts

Memorandum

TO: CCAI CEOs/EXECUTIVE DIRECTORS/POLICY COMMITTEE
FROM: Marge Berglind, President, Child Care Association of Illinois
DATE: JULY 1, 2009
RE: DCFS Contracts Update/State Budget Update—Part 3

Today, Illinois Department of Children Family Services Director Erwin McEwen called a special CWAC Meeting to provide information about the requirements of the BH Consent Decree order. Earlier, providers received a letter from DCFS asking you to provide all programs and services.

DCFS must comply with the order of federal judge John Grady and is asking all agencies with contracts to comply.

Governor Pat Quinn’s office has informed DCFS that they intend to comply with the BH decree and should continue to assure services are provided. The Director asked that any agency that had a DCFS contract for FY ’09 continue to provide these services as of July 1. This request will override any previous letters/notices you received that either eliminated or cut services. Your FY ‘10 contracts will continue at the FY ’09 levels.

DCFS is working with the Governor’s office and Comptroller Dan Hynes to reach an understanding that will allow DCFS providers to be paid for the services they provide, and asking the Controller to give DCFS providers priority in the payment queue.  The request is for the Comptroller to make payment without a budget appropriation.

DCFS contracts are going in the mail within the next 5 days. Providers should return those promptly. These contracts will be 12-month contracts, based on FY ’09 contract levels.

DCFS realizes that some agencies may not be in a position to reactivate or continue a DCFS service for which they may experience payment delays. They understand that some agencies are already experiencing cash challenges based on payment delays from FY ’09.

If any agency feels it cannot reactivate its program, or continue to serve the DCFS children currently in care, that agency should inform DCFS Director McEwen via e-mail immediately. DCFS will then arrange service coverage for those clients that program cannot serve.

The Director requested that agencies act immediately to halt the closure or downsizing of any contract that DCFS had informed you would not be renewed. He does not want any client to be without even one day of service. SOC cases that were just closed because they were clinically due to be closed anyway should remain closed. Those that were closed only because of the potential termination of the DCFS contract should be opened immediately.

Day care providers used by foster caregivers, for which the day care is paid by DCFS, will also still be needed as a provider.  Those day care providers are being notified, along with 40,000 miscellaneous DCFS providers, of DCFS’ intent to continue all services.

If a foster parent is having difficulty with their day care provider, that provider can contact the DCFS contracts unit for verification of DCFS’ intent:  217-785-3920. A copy of the Director’s letter regarding compliance with the BH court order is also on the DCFS web site.

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3 Comments on “Court Order Prompts Governor Pat Quinn to Reverse DCFS Illinois Doomsday Budget Cuts”

  1. interested foster parent Says:

    Marge, you stated in this blog post that a copy of the director’s letter is on the DCFS website. I went to the link provided and found the BH decree court order by Judge Grady. I saw no letter from Erwin McEwen however. I also looked other places online and no letter from Mr. McEwen regarding restorating of funding to agencies and programs.

    Publishing a copy of Mr. McEwan’s letter would go a long way to reassure everyone involved in child welfare that funding will be secured and it’s important info to share with the stakeholders and the public.

  2. Derek St.clair Says:

    DCFS needs no money, They can get It from a church donation If the people really want It. They do nothing but take children from mild drug users, yet allow the dealers to sell drugs with a loaded illegal gun for use in a robbery attempt, Drugs in house,illegal guns in house, narcotics record 1 mile long. But no, we will go after the easy target. Dont let them fool you, they need to get a real job like the rest of us. and start random drug testing their employees. DCFS What a f-ing joke! And Family court too! You all have children and should be deeply ashamed of your evil doings of which your god will never forgive.


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