I am requesting Prayer for the State of Illinois Foster Care system. We received a letter yesterday (since we are registered and have a foster care license) concerning the HUGE problem that is circling the Illinois Foster Care and all of the people, including children involved.
The State of Illinois is facing the worst budget crisis in its history … with a gaping budget hole of close to
$9 billion, a deficit of almost 33%.
I have copied the following to share with everyone:
Department of Children and Family Services could face $460 million in budget cuts
June 12, 2009
BY DAVE MCKINNEY Springfield Bureau Chief
SPRINGFIELD -- Illinois' child welfare agency has begun warning hundreds of caregivers to abused and neglected children that $460 million in budget cuts will occur by month's end if state lawmakers don't approve a fully funded state budget.
Such a move would eliminate or severely curtail services to as many as 16,000 children and 40,000 families statewide and could put the state in violation of a federal court decree from the 1990s that instituted standards of care for wards of the state.
How much each child welfare provider will lose under the cuts Here's DCFS's list of what $460 million in cuts will mean
The maneuver by the Department of Children and Family Services is a reaction to the late-May passage of a half-funded budget, which lawmakers opted for instead of an income-tax hike pushed by Gov. Quinn to close an $11.6 billion budget deficit.
“The General Assembly’s budget threatens to completely dismantle the child welfare system in Illinois. We have no choice but to plan for operating under the budget that the Legislature has given us,” DCFS spokesman Kendall Marlowe said Friday
“We don’t want to make these cuts. These cuts will be deeply damaging to children and families if they’re implemented. We hope the General Assembly will act to fulfill the state’s duty to protect children,” he said.
Late Thursday and continuing Friday, the agency sent out 600 letters to caregivers warning of the cuts that will be implemented without legislative intervention.
The cuts will result in 1,171 layoffs — 38 percent of DCFS’ workforce — that could not occur before Oct. 1 under union rules. The cuts would increase the current caseload of 15 children per caseworker to 50 children per caseworker, the agency said.
Cuts also would decimate programs related to adoptions, daycare, after-school tutoring and pregnancy and teen-parenting services, among other things, according to a list from the agency.
A top lawyer for the American Civil Liberties Union told the Sun-Times that his organization would go to federal court to block the cutbacks, should they occur, under a 1991 federal court decree the ACLU obtained establishing levels of care for DCFS wards.
“We do believe the children have a constitutional right for adequate care and services, and we’ll move to protect that right if the state doesn’t pass a budget that makes it able to do so,” ACLU lawyer Benjamin Wolf said. “These cuts very clearly will put the state in violation of many provision of the consent decree.”
Among the harder-hit social service providers, Des Plaines-based Lutheran Social Services of Illinois would lose $3.6 million under the DCFS cutbacks — enough to cause the organization to have to lay off two-thirds of the workforce it devotes to child welfare services.
“We’re not looking at the way a sane society treats people,” said John Schnier, executive director of Lutheran Social Services’ children services division. “How does this look to the world?”
Before adjourning May 31, the state Senate narrowly approved increasing the state income tax from 3 percent to 5 percent. That measure did not get called in the House, which instead voted down a temporary hike in the income tax from 3 to 4.5 percent.
House Speaker Michael Madigan (D-Chicago), who voted for the increase, faced criticism for not doing more to round up the 60 votes the plan needed to pass. It only drew 42 yes votes, all Democrats; there are 70 House Democrats.
A Madigan spokesman did not return a message Friday, seeking reaction to the potential cuts facing DCFS providers.
My hubs was speaking with a reporter from our local newspaper and was told that the State of Illinois are looking for empty buildings to house children in from across the state. They estimate that 90% of children that are in Foster Care will be returned to the agencies they were placed by. Apparently, the State of Illinois will house the children in buildings, guarded by police officers. CAN YOU IMAGINE? Children will be treated like cattle herds! WE ARE APPALLED!!!
We have sent letters to our Representatives and Our Senators . . . Now we are requesting much needed PRAYER!
Please feel free to copy this post and share it on your blogs - WE THE PEOPLE NEED TO STAND UP AND SAY NO . . . FOR THE SAKE OF THE CHILDREN!