Archive for the ‘DHS’ category

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

April 27, 2010

Governor Pat Quinn

(Springfield, IL) – Governor Pat Quinn’s budget proposal that slashes additional $4.1 million from Illinois child welfare agencies serving troubled Illinois teenagers will undermine care and after school programs for at least 17,000 children, according to advocates today who appeared at an Illinois Senate panel hearing.

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

According to Berglind’s analysis of Quinn’s budget under the Illinois Department of Human Services, headed by Secretary Michelle Saddler, Early Intervention, Homeless Youth, Healthy Families, Parents Too Soon, Redeploy Illinois, Teen REACH, Teen Parent Services, and UDIS were reduced 10% this year and 20% in the last two state budgets.

“The Governor is gutting these after school and supplemental school programs year after year after year with brutal cuts totaling 30%,” said Berglind. “Shrinking these supportive school programs is an invitation to a graduation rate collapse.”

Berglind made her comments as the Illinois State Senate Humans Services Appropriations Committee today took budget testimony at its hearing from youth service advocates.  Senate Committee members include: Chairman Donne Trotter (D), Jeff Schoenberg (D), Jacqueline Collins (D), William Delgado (D), Mattie Hunter (D), Mike Jacobs (D), Emil Jones, III (D), Matt Murphy (R), Pamela Althoff (R), Tim Bivins (R), Chris Lauzen (R), Dave Syverson (R).

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 budget, 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.

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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.

Gov. Pat Quinn Aims to Borrow $900 Million to Ease Illinois Cash Flow Crisis—Madigan, Cullerton, Cross, and Radogno Must Address Longer-Term Illinois Budget Problem

November 4, 2009

Quinn_VetoDOC_Podium

Gov. Pat Quinn

(Springfield, Illinois) – Governor Pat Quinn is planning to borrow $900 million to help cash-strapped Illinois to pay its bills through the winter.

Quinn’s borrowing plan should help newly-appointed Secretary of the Illinois Department of Human Services Michelle Saddler to ease the cash flow crisis at the agency and to pay social service providers.

“A Cash flow crisis on top of earlier budget cuts at the Illinois Department of Human Services is creating more risk to reliable care for at-risk youth each day,” said Marge Berglind, President of the Child Care Association of Illinois. “The new borrowing should help Secretary pay the bills.”

“For example, one of our agencies should have received about $43,000 by now to provide the 24-hour crisis service to youth at risk of entering child welfare or juvenile justice systems,” said Berglind. “To date, they’ve received only $900.”

“Another 24-hour youth crisis service agency is owed $136,000 and has received nothing,” Berglind added. “Vendors need to be paid.”

“However, the longer-term cash flow problem is not Governor Quinn’s responsibility alone,” said Berglind. “House Speaker Michael Madigan, House Leader Tom Cross, Senate President John Cullerton and Senate Christine Radogno must assume the responsibility as well.”

“The Illinois budget dysfunction is undermining the provision of basic services to its citizens,” Berglind added.

The Child Care Association of Illinois is also raising the provider cash flow problems to House Human Services Appropriations Chair Sara Feigenholtz (D-Chicago) and Senate Appropriations Chair Donne Trotter (D-Chicago), Berglind noted.

IL Legislature Approves, Governor Pat Quinn Signs Illinois Budget–Homeless Youth, Mentally Ill, Others Still Face Loss of Care, Services

July 16, 2009

(Springfield, IL) — The Illinois General Assembly last night approved and the Governor Pat Quinn signed the Fiscal Year 2010 Illinois budget.

The good news is that there is now a regular FY’10 budget, so that contracts and cash can begin to flow. The bad news is that the budget still contains serious cuts.

The budget does not contain revenue for a tax increase, but contains revenues from fund sweeps and

Governor Pat Quinn

Governor Pat Quinn

funds generated from pension borrowing to offset the Illinois “doomsday” budget losses in human service funding. However, human services are funded only at an average of 86% of FY ’09 levels.

State agencies will be mandated to set aside $1.1 billion total in reserves, not spending appropriated dollars until review later in the year, so this will pose an additional strain for programs that are already reduced. Finally, there is an expectation inherent in this budget that some FY ’10 payments to providers will be delayed into FY ’11 as a way of saving funds in FY ’10. This “borrowing” from providers is estimated at $1.5 billion. . There is estimated to be $1.1 billion in cuts.  The overall funding for the state is approximately 92% of FY ’09 levels.

Social services are funded at an average of 86% of FY ’09 amounts. This is an AVERAGE only.

State agencies received lump sum appropriations and not detailed line item appropriations. State agencies will make determinations of how to spend and allocate the reduced amounts within the lump sum allocations. The General Assembly did not appropriate division, program or line items for the state agencies. The Governor and state agencies will need to make decisions on how the 86% funding levels will be distributed to meet human needs.

Legislators who presented and commented on the proposed budgets confirmed that the budget represents all the money Illinois has. Cuts will be deep. However, they acknowledged that Illinois was out of time and options in terms of passing some type of budget. They characterized this as a budget that avoids a complete meltdown but avoids a tax increase.

Child Care Association of Illinois staff reviewed the lump sum appropriations for each state agency. At this time, there is really no way to determine if the lump sums represent the expected 86% funding level, or if the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services appropriation represents the mandates of the federal BH consent decree.   We will need to obtain more detail from the state agencies, once the dust settles.

Governor Quinn and thus, the state agencies, will have wide latitude in determining how to spend the reduced funding levels. Although the 86% funding level for human service grants is an AVERAGE, there is NO GUARANTEE THAT ALL PROGRAMS WOULD BE FUNDED AT 86%.

The state agencies will need to make determinations about priority programs, funding levels and potential rate or utilization reductions. Language in the budget bill allows the agencies to do this.  For example, in the Illinois Department of Humans Services, appropriations are usually made in very specific amounts by division. This year, however, there is no differentiation of the total funds given to DHS for use in youth services or mental health or developmental disabilities or substance abuse. The Governor has asked the state agencies for their spending plans. There is much work to be done ahead with the state agencies.

The DCFS budget is not necessarily exempt from all aspects of the budget restrictions, although the requirements of the BH court order of July 1 mandate certain services.  We have asked DCFS finance staff to let us know whether their analysis of the amounts appropriated to DCFS reflect the budget needs necessary so that DCFS can fund services at FY ’09 levels as planned.

The budget is actually named “Emergency Budget Implementation Act of Fiscal Year 2010” and refers to the extraordinary financial situation. The legislative intent of the budget bill states:

“The General Assembly hereby finds and declares that the State is confronted with an unprecedented fiscal crisis. This Act is to be liberally construed and interpreted in a manner that allows the State to
address the fiscal crisis for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2010.”

The budget bill also contains language that will allow emergency rule making. This will allow the state agencies to implement the program and finance challenges expeditiously in rules.  The JCAR process of legislative review will still be used.

Finally, there does not appear to be any agreement at this time about revisiting a tax increase. Some legislators predict such discussions will emerge in the fall veto session. Others look to January before there is any serious consideration of a tax increase. There is no guarantee that the budget we have today will in any way be enhanced by other revenue within this fiscal year.

The great disappointment of this budget means challenges for CCAI members throughout this fiscal year and as we plan for FY ’11. Advocacy efforts must continue to remind the public and the general assembly that an 86% human service level is not acceptable.

Policy advocacy and scrutiny of the state agency decisions will become a big part of this year’s activities. We need to prepare for the inevitable funding challenges of FY ’11 when some of the federal stimulus money protecting ISBE this year, goes away.

Quinn Contract Cuts Bite: 17,000 Kids Lose 24-Hour Crisis Intervention for Runaways, Mental Health Care, Homeless Shelters,

July 13, 2009

(Springfield, IL) – An initial survey of Illinois child welfare agencies reveals that local providers have already absorbed more than $50 million in direct program cuts from the Illinois Department of Human Services, affecting more than 17,000 children.

“Governor Pat Quinn’s contract cuts have already hit all parts of the state from Chicago to Putnam County, slashing care to more than 17,000 children,” said Marge Berglind, President of the Child Care Association of Illinois.

Click Here: CCA Podcast: CCA News Interview with Child Care Association President Marge Berglind

“Even with no state budget, agencies have acted on Governor Quinn’s cuts to children’s services contracts and have already eliminated approximately 1,075 jobs and many children and youth programs.”

According to Berglind, the discontinued or drastically reduced services include:

  • 24-Hour Crisis Intervention for runaways to prevent DCFS entry or law enforcement detention
  • Outpatient counseling for youth with serious mental illness
  • Supportive Shelter Care for runaways
  • Parents Too Soon programs to help teen parents avoid child abuse/neglect
  • After school programs for youth to avoid gangs and remain in school
  • Home Visiting Programs to ensure new moms properly care for their at-risk babies
  • Mental health services in early childhood programs
  • Respite Support for Parents of DD or Mentally Ill Children

“Even in the absence of an actual budget—Governor Quinn has put drastically reduced contracts on the streets and children’s agencies have—drastically reduced jobs and services,” said Berglind. “Doomsday is already here.”

“We urge the General Assembly to quickly develop a budget for FY’10 that immediately stops the massive cuts and contains sufficient money to restore desperately needed services for children and youth,” Berglind added.

Quinn Doomsday Budget Will Doom Care for Abused and Neglected Children, Feigenholtz and Trotter Need to Rally Madigan, Cullerton

May 21, 2009

(Springfield, IL)Governor Pat Quinn’s recent doomsday budget announcement offered no detail on the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services or on the child service budget lines within the Department of Human Services.

But we can offer an educated guess: a budgetary bloodbath.

Governor Pat Quinn

Governor Pat Quinn

At DCFS, if Quinn’s average 37% cut is applied across the board, its budget would end up at about $850 million—almost $500 million less than currently budgeted.

Last year, when DCFS weighed $75 million in cuts, those cuts would have eliminated 40% of system of care, threatening to explode caseloads.

Quinn is now talking almost 7 times that much.

The Child Care Association of Illinois would anticipate if that degree of cut was made, all child caseloads would have to be increased to the maximum allowed by consent decrees (20 for foster care) plus more in caseloads that are not subject to consent decree.

Under those conditions, the abuse and neglect suffered by children would simply be committed by the state of Illinois.

All programs with minimal or no federal funding stream would be cut—much of the family preservation line, certain counseling, quite a bit of training would be gone. Even with that amount cut, DCFS could not achieve the budget reduction goal. DCFS would need to decrease private agency rates too.

On the DHS side, Community Health and Prevention Division would decrease from $237 million to $149 million—a loss of $88 million. Some of the budget lines are so small they could not absorb a 37% reduction and still be viable. They would just be eliminated. If the private youth services agencies thought 10% would be the end of the program, a 37% cut would be unfathomable.

The Department of Juvenile Justice has not much to cut, unless they eliminate entire wings of facilities. If they eliminate all aftercare, they still would not make their budget cut share.

Juveniles would be released from corrections with no aftercare services, although it is unsure how much leeway Governor Quinn has on releasing either juveniles or adults who have been duly sentenced to specific timeframes under the law.

For the Illinois State Board of Education, we cannot even predict how they would cut. Another budgetary bloodletting.

The Chairs of the House and Senate Human Services Appropriations committee—State Representative Sara Feigenholtz and State Senator Donne Trotter—need to communicate to House Speaker Michael Madigan, House Minority Leader Tom Cross, Senate President John Cullerton, and Senate Minority Leader Christine Radogno that state human service agencies and the vulnerable citizens they would cease to exist in any recognizable form after such budgetary ax swings.

The members of Senate Appropriations Committee—Jeff Schoenberg, Jacqueline Collins, William Delgado, Mattie Hunter, Mike Jacobs, Emil Jones, Matt Murphy, Pam Althoff, Tim Bivins, Chris Lauzen and Dave Syverson as well as the House members Harry Osterman, Rosemary Mulligan, Patricia Bellock, Beth Coulson, Keith Farnham, Jehan Gordon, Deborah Graham, Elizabeth Hernandez, Eddie Jackson, David Leitch, Deborah Mell, Kathy Ryg, Angelo Saviano, Tim Schmitz, Darlene Senger, Ron Stephens, Mark Walker, and Eddie Washington—need to deliver the same message to legislative leaders.

Voters will be watching.

Kotowski Bill to Help High-Risk Kids in DCFS Residential, Group Homes Sweeps Senate, Heads to House; Advocates Hopefull on Quinn

March 27, 2009

(Springfield, IL) – The Illinois Senate yesterday voted 56-0 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.

State Senator Dan Kotowski

State Senator Dan Kotowski

The measure, Senate Bill 1372 Sponsored by State Senator Dan Kotowski (D-33) 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.

“Performance contracts for DCFS residential and group homes provide new opportunities to develop innovative programming to provide enhanced clinical treatment and to ease transitions to school, home, and work for kids,” said Marge Berglind, President of the Child Care Association of Illinois.

The bill, co-sponsored by Senator Jacqueline  Collins (D-Chicago), would require DCFS to set new performance-based requirements, financial rates, and outcomes for residential treatment providers.

“Long-term savings from lowered hospitalization costs can be reinvested in new services that help close treatment gaps and help sustain the benefits for kid from treatment over time,” said Berglind.

The bill’s key provisions include:

  • DCFS must properly finance residential performance based programs
  • DCFS, DHS, ISBE and DJJ must work together to set new performance based requirements and rates for residential treatment
  • Child welfare agencies will work with other state agencies to develop similar performance-based goals and outcomes
  • DHS, ISBE and DJJ must establish residential rates that are at least equal to the DCFS performance-contracting rate

“We are very grateful to Senator Kotowski and Senator Collins for their aggressive and successful efforts to win Senate approval of the bill,” said Berglind.

The bill now moves to the House. The chief sponsor is State Rep. Paul Froehlich (D-Schaumburg).

“If the bill passes the House, we are hopefull Governor Pat Quinn will approve it,” Berglind added.