Child Welfare Advocates Award “Champion for Children” Honor to Froehlich, Lang, Cronin and Kotowski

State Senator Dan Cronin

(Chicago, IL) – The Child Care Association of Illinois today bestowed its “Champion for Children” award on four Illinois state lawmakers for their legislative advocacy in behalf of Illinois abused and neglected children and foster families.

Receiving the award are State Rep. Paul Froehlich (D-Schaumburg), State Rep. Lou Lang (D-Skokie), State Senator Dan Cronin (R-Elmhurst), and State Senator Dan Kotowski (D-Park Ridge).

Kotowski and Froehlich sponsored legislation this year 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.

The measure, Senate Bill 1372, 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 (DCFS).

“We are very grateful to Senator Kotowski and Representative Froelich for their aggressive and successful efforts to win approval of the bill,” said Marge Berglind, President of the Child Care Association of Illinois.

State Senator Dan Kotowski

“For this significant legislative achievement, we are proud to present them our Champion for Children Award.”

Senator Cronin earned his “Champion for Children Award” for his sponsorship of legislation that requires DCFS each year to review cost reimbursements the foster parent cost of care for abused and neglected children and report to the General Assembly.

This year, the state ignored that food prices jumped 8% in 2008 and ignored the forecast that prices would increase another 7% to 8% by the end of 2009, providing no extra money to help foster parents pay for groceries, Berglind noted.

“With Senator Cronin’s bill, foster children will benefit by helping to expand the pool of willing and capable foster parents who currently are deterred by the out-of-pocket expenses,” said Berglind.

“We are proud to recognize Senator Cronin’s leadership on behalf of foster families.”

Finally, House Deputy Majority Leader Lang received the award for his long-time legislative advocacy in behalf of Illinois foster families.

“Rep. Lang has long fought to adequately reimburse Illinois foster parents for the cost of care and more broadly has long been a leader in child welfare reform,” said Berglind, “And we are proud to grant him our ‘Champion for Children’ award this year.”

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