Child Welfare Advocates Hail Governor Pat Quinn, Rep Joe Lyons, Senator Dan Kotowski for New Law to Capture $17 Million for Illinois Abused Kid Care

(Springfield, IL) — July 21, 2010. Governor Pat Quinn today 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 House backed the legislation, Senate Bill 3420, sponsored by State Rep. Joe Lyons (D-Chicago) and State Senator Dan Kotowski (D-Park Ridge), 113-0.

“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.”

Berglind did note, “Some concerns were raised late last week as the bill was being reviewed by budget and policy staff.  However, we were able to submit additional information about the intent of the bill and its purpose to the Governor’s office that helped address those concerns.”

“This bill was an initiative of CCAI that took 2 years to reach a conclusion, including many hearings and meetings. We thank Senator Kotowski, Representative Lyons and Governor Quinn for their support and efforts on our behalf,” Berglind said.

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

In addition to Lyons, House sponsors include: Naomi Jakobsson (D), Sara Feigenholtz (D), Pat Verschoore (D), Jehan Gordon (D), David Leitch (D), Paul Froehlich (D), LaShawn Ford (D) and Tom Holbrook (D).

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