Posted tagged ‘Margaret Berglind’

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.

Lawmakers Adjourn for Summer, Fail to Agree on Extra $400 Million for Illinois Human Services

June 1, 2011

Child Care Association of Illinois President Margaret Berglind

(Springfield, IL) — The Illinois General Assembly concluded its spring session and adjourned for the summer late last night, but the Illinois House refused to concur with the additional spending recommendations for next year’s Illinois budget made over the weekend by the Illinois Senate.

“Those budget add-ons would have meant more than $400 million in additional appropriations for Human Services agencies,” said Child Care Association of Illinois President Margaret Berglind.

Instead, the House appointed a Conference Committee to work on the bill, but the Senate, however, declined to do so before adjourning.

During concluding remarks, Senate President John Cullerton (D-Chicago) noted that the Senate could be called back into session before the regular veto session in October.

“The House version of the budget is now the final appropriated budget,” said Berglind.

The total budget of $33.2 billion that the legislature sent to Governor Pat Quinn is about $2 billion less that the Governor’s proposed budget. Although total spending is a bit higher than last year’s levels in most areas, the cost of the state pension payments will be covered within this budget and not funded separately as in some previous years.

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Illinois Senate Sends Gov. Pat Quinn Austere House Budget; Approves Extra $464 Million Supplemental

May 31, 2011

Child Care Association of Illinois President Margaret Berglind

(Springfield, IL) – May 31, 2011. Yesterday, the Illinois Senate passed the Illinois House version of the Illinois budget for next year that will soon go to Governor Pat Quinn’s desk.

“The House version contained significant budget cuts because it relied on a revenue projection about $2 billion less than the Governor Quinn’s proposed budget,” said Child Care Association of Illinois President Margaret Berglind.

The Senate also approved an additional bill that adds $464 million in appropriations to that budget.

That additional spending would restore $7.9 million to the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services, $13.2 million to Illinois Department of Juvenile Justice, $109 million to the Illinois Department of Human Services and $216 million to the Illinois State Board of Education.

“The House must concur with the Senate’s proposed budget add-ons,” said Berglind. “We do not know as of this morning what the sentiment of the House will be as it reviews this additional spending proposal.”

If the House does not concur with that additional spending, then the House version of the budget stands as the final appropriated FY ’12 budget from the General Assembly, Berglind noted.

The legislature is scheduled to adjourn by midnight, tonight, May 31.

Video: Illinois Legislature Protects Illinois Child Welfare Budget, Advocate Says

May 16, 2011

(Springfield, IL) — May 16, 2011. The Illinois Senate and House have approved their version of state human service budgets and both preserve core Illinois Department of Children and Family Services funding, according to the state’s top child welfare advocate group.

The Senate and House human services appropriations committees, chaired by State Senator Heather Steans (D-Chicago) and State Rep. Sara Feigenholtz (D-Chicago), respectively, which need to be reconciled in a legislative conference committee, preserve “essential” funding, according to Margaret Berglind, President of the Child Care Association of Illinois.

“Both the House and Senate have responded to our advocacy to assure essential services for DCFS wards are provided,” said Berglind. “We deeply appreciate the leadership of Rep. Feigenholtz and Senator Steans.”

Illinois Lawmakers Preserve “Essential” Funding for Abused and Neglected Children Care

May 13, 2011

(Springfield, IL) – May 13, 2011. Coming on the heels of Illinois Senate budget action last week, the Illinois House today approved its version of state human service budgets, preserving core Illinois Department of Children and Family Services funding, according to the state’s top child welfare advocate group.

The House Human Services Appropriations Committee, chaired by State Rep. Sara Feigenholtz (D-Chicago), reduces the DCFS budget below the Senate’s levels, but preserves “essential” funding, according to Margaret Berglind, President of the Child Care Association of Illinois.

The House today approved, 83-25, the committee budget plan.

“Both the House and Senate have responded to our advocacy to assure essential services for DCFS wards are provided,” said Berglind. “We appreciate Rep. Feigenholtz and Senator Heather Steans’ leadership.”

Berglind noted, however, there is still some concern in the House version.

“Clinical services are cut 65%,” said Berglind. “These are services such as Integrated Assessment and Child and Youth Investment Teams that are critical to making foster care or high-end residential placement decisions.”

Other smaller reductions in areas such as counseling, residential treatment and foster care could be managed by DCFS internally, Berglind claimed.

“As long as DCFS understands that there should be no decrease to direct care,” Berglind said.

The House budget plan, House Bill 3717, reduces foster care by 1.5%, residential .63%, adoptions or guardianships .7%, and counseling 1.5%.

“Though the budget-making is far from over, we are cautiously optimistic at this point,” said Berglind.

Governor Quinn’s Budget Slashes Youth Services for Illinois Teens; 3,000 Kids Likely Pushed out of Emergency Homeless Shelters; Madigan, Cross, Cullerton, and Radogno Urged to Restore Funding

May 5, 2009

(Springfield, IL) – Illinois child welfare advocates have joined forces to roll back Governor Pat Quinn’s proposed budget cuts of $6.9 million that will tear a hole in the state safety net for 50,000 young people many of whom are annually diverted from detention centers, foster care, psychiatric hospitals, and homelessness.

The Child Care Association of Illinois and the Illinois Collaboration on Youth are jointly working to persuade state lawmakers to set aside Quinn’s budget and restore the $6.9 million to the state youth services budget.

“Governor Quinn’s budget cuts to emergency housing will likely push 3,000 youth back to the streets due to lack of space in homeless youth shelters,” said Marge Berglind, President of the Child Care Association of Illinois.

In addition to cuts to homeless youth shelters, Quinn’s budget eliminates out-of-school time activities for over 4,000 youth, Berglind noted.

One budget cut that makes no economic sense and would quickly cost the state more money, according to Berglind, is the program that diverts hundreds of youth from prison.

“By cutting the delinquency intervention program that keeps youth of out of prison, which costs approximately $1,200 annually for each kid, the state will end up paying an average of $70,000 more a year per youth if they go to prison.”

“Cut $1,200 and end up spending $70,000? That makes no economic sense,” said Berglind.

“We are working hard to ensure that Speaker Michael Madigan, House Leader Tom Cross, Senate President John Cullerton, and Senate Leader Christine Radogno hear our message to restore the $6.9 million to the youth services budget,” said Berglind. “Once, they hear our message, we are confident lawmakers will restore the money.”

Governor Blagojevich Urged to Sign Budget Bill for Abused and Neglected Children

November 4, 2008

(Chicago, IL) — The Child Care Association today called on Governor Rod Blagojevich to sign legislation to restore $21 million to the state budget for abused and neglected children.

Marge Berglind, CEO, Child Care Association of Illinois

Marge Berglind, CEO, Child Care Association of Illinois

“Like Illinois state parks and historic sites, Department of Children and Family Services programs for abused and neglected children have their own budget cut-doomsday scenario,” said Marge Berglind, CEO, Child Care Association of Illinois.”Unlike state parks and historic sites, however, if the DCFS budget cuts go unrestored, its programs’ physical presence will shrink by 40%.”

Most DCFS Systems of Care programs run by private agencies—whose budgets were cut more than 40% by DCFS—will shrivel. This program provides critical emergency counseling, crisis intervention, and concrete supports to foster parents when the children experience trauma and behavior problems.

“Without restored funding, care to nearly 1,200 children in this program will be lost. Employees will be fired. Office space shuttered. Programs closed,” said Berglind.

In September, the Illinois Senate voted 55-0 and the House 113-0 to restore funding to maintain this care for the 1,200 abused and neglected children.

“What we also know is that without the money these children will once again be victimized—but this time by the State of Illinois,” said Berglind

Berglind is urging the Governor to approve S.B. 1103 and restore the $21,219,715 budget cuts imposed on the Department of Children and Family Services as soon as possible.