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Writer pushes to save for funding for children, seniors

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Dear Editor,

Illinois must PRESERVE funding for critical human services in the FY 2015 State budget. Without a revenue solution, services to vulnerable children, families, and seniors are facing an inconceivable 25 percent cut. These proposed cuts come on the heels of multiple years of eroding funding and increased needs.  

Here are some of the cuts to services our communities will experience:

·         Comprehensive Community Based Youth Services, a very effective program that helps runaways reduces juvenile delinquency and keeps youth out of jail

·         Individual Care Grants which would force nearly 750 mentally ill children into the DCFS or DJJ care

·         Community Area Projects led by local community residents improving their neighborhoods and reducing youth crime

·         In-home senior services which prevent premature nursing home placements

·         Critical services to DCFS wards over 18 that prepare them live independently, go to college, or start a job.

·         Increasing child welfare worker caseloads which is directly related to longer lengths of stay in foster care for kids, untreated abuse and neglect trauma, and vital protective services to siblings of children in care.  

Private child welfare agencies in Illinois have only received one 3% CODB increase since 2000 while the CPI has increased 29.7% during that same time. Mental Health services have already been cut over $113 million dollars in Illinois since 2009. Our system is in crisis and the safety net is at extreme risk. We need the legislature to support the governor’s budget before the end of the fiscal year; otherwise, further cuts will devastate our communities and the fiscal and human costs will be catastrophic.

 

Sincerely,

 

Mike Drymiller

President of the Board

The Center for Youth and Family Solutions

2610 W. Richwoods Blvd.

Peoria, Illinois 61604