Archive for March 2010

Illinois Senate OKs Kotowski Plan to Capture $17 Million from U.S. Government for Illinois Foster Care

March 18, 2010

(Springfield, IL) – March 18, 2010. The Illinois Senate last night unanimously approved a bill that would enable the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services to capture an additional $17 million from the federal government to help pay for Illinois foster children care.

The Senate backed the legislation, Senate Bill 3420, sponsored by State Senator Dan Kotowski (D-Park Ridge) by a 56-0 vote.

“The economic crisis has undermined a DCFS fund that pays for care of abused and neglected children and it can no longer generate enough money to sustain current spending,” said Marge Berglind, President of Child Care Association of Illinois.

“The legislation will cost the state nothing. All the new money would come from the federal government.”

DCFS has asked private child welfare agencies to voluntarily convert foster care and counseling services into Medicaid-claimable programs.

The legislation now moves to the Illinois House where State Rep. Joe Lyons (D-Chicago) is the sponsor.

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Governor Pat Quinn’s Budget Jeopardizes 24-Hour Crisis Intervention, Mental Health Care, After School, Special Ed for 17,000 Troubled Teens

March 12, 2010

Governor Pat Quinn

(Springfield, IL) – March 5, 2010. Governor Pat Quinn’s budget proposal that slashes $20 million from Illinois child welfare agencies serving troubled Illinois teenagers—on top of a $20 million cut last year—will undermine care and after school programs to at least 17,000 children, according to advocates.

“Governor Pat Quinn delivered a brief but a dismal budget message,” said Marge Berglind, President of the Child Care Association of Illinois. “And that message says the state will slash care to more than 17,000 troubled Illinois teenagers.”

“Governor Quinn’s proposed cuts to youth services will also eliminate approximately 1,075 professional and administrative jobs related to youth programs.”

According to Berglind’s analysis of Quinn’s budget, Early Intervention, Homeless Youth, Healthy Families, Parents Too Soon, Redeploy Illinois, Teen REACH, Teen Parent Services, and UDIS were reduced 10%.

“The Governor is gutting these after school and supplemental school programs year after year after year with brutal cuts,” said Berglind. “Shrinking these supportive school programs is an invitation to a graduation rate collapse.”

Additionally, Berglind noted that Illinois Department of Human Services officials said that 4,200 children would lose care due to Quinn’s cuts to Mental Health Community Based services.

“Eliminating mental health care for 4,200 children will likely doom their academic performance,” said Berglind.

Finally, Berglind noted that the state special education budget took a huge hit of almost $67 million in Quinn’s budget. In the this budget, which serves DCFS youth with behavioral and learning problems, the Regular Orphanage Act line is down 25.44%, the Special Ed Orphanage Act line is down 32.13% and the Private Tuition Line is down 13.78%.

“State support for special education is down, down, down the drain,” said Berglind.

“We urge the General Assembly to develop a budget that reverses the massive cuts to care, after school, and special education programs for troubled youth,” said Berglind.

Senate Panel Approves Senator Dan Kotowski’s Bill to Capture $17 Million from Federal Government for Illinois Foster Care

March 4, 2010

(Springfield, IL) – March 4, 2010. A Senate legislative panel today unanimously approved a bill that would enable the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services to capture an additional $17 million from the federal government to help pay for Illinois foster children care.

The Illinois Senate Human Services Committee backed legislation, Senate Bill 3420, sponsored by State Senator Dan Kotowski (D-Park Ridge) by a 8-0 vote.

“The economic crisis has undermined a DCFS fund that pays for care of abused and neglected children and it can no longer generate enough money to sustain current spending,” said Marge Berglind, President of Child Care Association of Illinois.

“The legislation will cost the state nothing. All the new money would come from the federal government.”

DCFS has asked private child welfare agencies to voluntarily convert foster care and counseling services into Medicaid-claimable programs.

In addition to Kotowski, the committee members backing the bill include Senators: Mattie Hunter (D), Deanna Demuzio (D), William Delgado (D), Heather Steans (D), Dave Syverson (R), Dave Syverson (R), Dan Duffy (R), and Dale Risinger (R).

The legislation now faces consideration by the full Senate.

State Senator Dan Kotowski Pushes Bill to Capture $17 Million from Federal Government for Illinois Foster Care

March 1, 2010

State Senator Dan Kotowski

(Springfield, IL) – March 1, 2010. An Senate legislative panel on Tuesday will likely consider a bill that would enable the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services to capture an additional $17 million from the federal government to help pay for Illinois foster children care.

The Illinois Senate Human Services Committee is scheduled to address legislation, Senate Bill 3420, sponsored by State Senator Dan Kotowski (D-Park Ridge), a member of the committee, on Tuesday, March 2.

“Due to the current economic crisis, the DCFS fund that pays for care of abused and neglected children can no longer generate enough money to sustain current spending,” said Marge Berglind, President of Child Care Association of Illinois.

“The legislation sponsored by Senator Kotowski will help fix that problem,” Berglind added. “And it will cost the state nothing. All the new money would come from the federal government.”

DCFS has asked private child welfare agencies to voluntarily convert foster care and counseling services into Medicaid-claimable programs.

“We estimate that the fee-for-service conversion and enhanced Medicaid services could generate an additional $17 million for the FY2011 DCFS budget,” said Berglind. “And Senator Kotowski’s bill will direct that money back to the fund to care for foster children.”

In addition to Kotowski, the committee members include Senators: Mattie Hunter (D), Deanna Demuzio (D), William Delgado (D), Heather Steans (D), Dave Syverson (R), Dave Syverson (R), Dan Duffy (R), and Dale Risinger (R).