Posted tagged ‘Illinois Department Children Family Services’

DCFS Data Reveals Confirmed Illinois Child Abuse, Neglect Projected to Drop 27% Since 2008

May 1, 2012

(Springfield, IL) – May 1, 2012. Illinois child welfare advocates today released an analysis of state child welfare data and hailed a projected 24% drop of confirmed child abuse and neglect in Illinois since 2008.

Analysis of Illinois Department of Children and Family Services.

“Our review of the Illinois Department Children and Family Services data reveals concretely what we in the field knew intuitively–Illinois children are safer today than they were even just four years ago,” said Margaret Berglind, President of the Child Care Association of Illinois.

According to the group’s review of the data, there were 29,802 cases of confirmed child abuse or neglect in Illinois in fiscal year 2008, and by annualizing the first seven months of fiscal year 2012 data, there will be 21,720 confirmed cases, which constitutes a 27% decrease.

“We are on our way to see a 27% decrease in child abuse and neglect in Illinois,” said Berglind. “That accomplishment is due to combined efforts of DCFS and private child welfare agencies to continue to implement the reforms that began in 1995.”

Berglind noted that the DCFS data is on track to reveal child safety progress on multiple fronts, including child sex abuse, substance abuse-exposed babies, and child deaths.

“If the current trends continue, child deaths, as a result of abuse or neglect, are set to fall by 60%,” said Berglind. “This good news confirms that the Illinois child welfare system is effectively doing its job–which is protecting children.”

Berglind also noted that there are fewer children in state care. Illinois has reduced its child caseload from nearly 51,000 from 1997 to 18,413 in 2012—a 63% reduction in the foster care caseload compared to a national reduction of 24%.

Additionally, More children have been placed in permanent homes. More than 40,000 children moved out of foster care to adoption and guardianship over the last decade, Berglind noted.

However, Berglind did sound a cautionary note that Illinois’ protection progress could be jeopardized if the Illinois General Assembly further cuts the DCFS budget by more than the $44 million recommended by Governor Pat Quinn.

“While the Illinois General Assembly and DCFS have implemented legislative and program reform to overhaul the Illinois child welfare system, the state’s performance is still significantly governed by eight court consent decree settlements,” said Berglind. “If the legislature cuts the DCFS budget too deeply, the state risks undermining the safety of children and risks court action.”

In 2008,  the state provided $897 million of its own money to DCFS. For next year, Quinn is proposing to spend only $746 million of general revenue money, or a 16.8% reduction.

Advocates Seek Illinois Child Welfare Vision from Governor Pat Quinn, Senator Bill Brady

October 5, 2010

(Chicago, IL) — October 5, 2010. As part of its Illinois 2010 voter education project, the Child Care Association of Illinois today issued letters to both Governor Pat Quinn and State Senator Bill to request their vision for Illinois’ child welfare system and to register the importance of the 18,718 abused and neglected children under the protection of the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services (DFCS).

Here is the letter sent to Governor Quinn and Senator Brady:

Dear Governor Pat Quinn and Senator Bill Brady:

As the potential “father” to 18,718 children who are wards of the State of Illinois, you will be responsible for their care and safety as Governor of Illinois.

Due to comprehensive reform, a public-private partnership—led primarily by a private sector child welfare workforce—rescued the Illinois child welfare system from national disgrace in 1995 and catapulted it to national leadership by 2010.

In 1995, there were 53,000 Illinois abused and neglected children who had overwhelmed the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS). Today, there are 18,718 children in the state’s care, of whom, 87% are receiving care from the private sector. The reforms that began in 1995 continue through today. However, a child welfare system as large and as dynamic as ours can never rest on its laurels.

Neither can a Governor.

Gubernatorial leadership is essential to mobilize the resources of critical public and private stakeholders to ensure that the safety of Illinois children continues to be a priority. A Governor can communicate a vision of shared responsibility for child safety and that begins with DCFS but, ultimately, engages the private sector that provides the bulk of the care.

As we intend to continue educating Illinois voters and our 25,000-strong private, statewide workforce on key child welfare public policy issues, we want to include your vision of the Illinois child welfare system and your role as the potential “father “to 18,718 wards of the state.

Help us in our education campaign of voters. We ask that you answer the four following questions, which would help to give shape to your vision of the child welfare system in Illinois:

1.     What policies would your Administration implement to prevent child maltreatment and strengthen vulnerable families?

2.     What policies would your Administration implement to ensure permanency for all children?

3.     What policies would your Administration implement to support and protect the economic viability of the private sector child welfare workforce that provides 87% of care?

4.     What policies would your Administration implement to maintain accountability for improving child outcomes?

The Illinois Governor makes critical decisions that have both short and long term consequences for the children in his care. That process requires that a governor have a vision. We would like to share your vision with the voters of Illinois. If you could return this questionnaire by October 15, 2010, we would appreciate it.

If you have any questions, please call me directly at: 312-819-1950.

Sincerely,

Margaret Berglind

Margaret Berglind, President & CEO

Child Care Association of Illinois

As soon as we receive responses from each campaign, we will the information, here, at the Child Care Association IL News Weblog,

Illinois House Sends Gov. Pat Quinn Lyons-Kotowski Bill to Secure $17 Million from Federal Government for Illinois Foster Care

April 22, 2010

State Rep. Joe Lyons

(Springfield, IL) — April 22, 2010. The Illinois House 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 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.”

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).

The measure now goes to Governor Pat Quinn for consideration.

Illinois House Panel Advances Rep. Joe Lyon’s Bill to Win $17 Million from Feds for Illinois Foster Children Care

April 14, 2010

State Rep. Joe Lyons

(Springfield, IL) — April 14, 2010. An Illinois House 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 House Human Services Committee backed the legislation, Senate Bill 3420, sponsored by State Rep. Joe Lyons (D-Chicago) by a 7-0 bi-partisan vote. Committee members include: Naomi Jakobsson (D), Connie Howard (D), Patty Bellock (R), Sandy Cole (R), Annazette Collins (D), Mary Flowers (D), and Tim Schmitz (R).

“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 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).

The legislation now moves to consideration by the full House.

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.

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).