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ACLU files suit for foster care funding

(Webmaster Note: Will this make the agency more responsible for their actions? Yes, it is about the money. Just as there is True Child Abuse. However, how long have all of us asked the agency to do their job? When in essence, since the mid '90's, there have been 80% Percent of the Allegations to be False?)

June 29, 2009 1:38 PM


Attorneys for the American Civil Liberties Union filed suit in federal court today, asking a judge to stop the state child welfare system from eliminating counseling and increasing caseloads as is proposed if a state doomsday budget becomes a reality this week.

The 16-page suit, filed on behalf of 16,000 foster children, charged that the cuts violate a 21-year-old federal consent decree that gives the ACLU oversight of the well being of children in the care of the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services.

Cuts would result in violations to the decree that "threaten the health, safety and welfare" of children "who will suffer irreparable harm," the suit alleged.

ACLU and DCFS attorneys plan to appear before a federal judge this evening.

DCFS spokesman Kendall Marlowe has acknowledged that the $460 million in proposed reductions to the DCFS' budget "threaten to completely dismantle the child welfare system in Illinois."

"It would virtually eliminate all supportive services to children and families in the system," Marlowe said. "Until the general assembly steps forward to fund these services, we have no choice but to plan for operating under the budget they have given us."

DCFS Director Erwin McEwen released a statement Monday saying that since 2003, DCFS has sustained almost $200 million in budget cuts and any additional reductions would bring his agency "dangerously close" to violating this and other consent decrees.

"Given the proposed budget cuts, we acknowledge the impact on the safety ... and well-being of the children we serve," McEwen said. "We can only hope that the right thing will be done by funding these services today, as opposed to wasting valuable time and resources defending lawsuits."

The budget cuts, according to the suit, would violate the consent decree by increasing caseloads of caseworkers and investigators, slashing payments to foster parents by 50 percent, cutting clinical services and eliminating a number of screenings, evaluations and other supports.

"Just the cost of feeding and housing wards and former wards by itself would exceed the budgeted amount for DCFS," the suit charged.

Cook County Public Guardian Robert Harris, whose attorneys represent DCFS children in juvenile court, had filed suit last week asking a circuit court judge to stop DCFS from terminating, reducing or suspending counseling and other services that help foster children in crisis. That suit is expected to be heard this afternoon in circuit court.

"People are looking at it as if it's a political fight. The reality is that political fight has spilled over and has started to hurt kids in state care," Harris said.

-- Ofelia Casillas
(Information Taken from Blog: http://disgustedwiththesystem.blogspot.com/2009/06/aclu-files-suit-for-foster-care-funding.html )

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House Committee on Ways and Means

Statement of Robert Littlejohn
May 15, 2007

Three years ago, the Congressman and legislators from Arizona, New Mexico and California sat and listened as parents, lawyers, a physician, child welfare experts and a foster parent shared horror stories of CPS malpractice.  They spoke from a giant horseshoe table (normally used by the City Council) and the lawmakers sat facing them in staff table in front of the stage.  Throughout the day, groups of 7 speakers at a time were led up to the horseshoe table and each took their turn speaking for 10 minutes.  They worked straight through lunch and the lawmakers were very attentive.  The hall was packed with an audience -- standing room only -- and four video cameras from assorted media taped the entire thing.

All speakers were harshly negative about CPS.  Some of the speeches were very emotional (one played an audio tape into the microphone of a child screaming as police ripped him away from his mother).  As part of their presentation, each speaker offered possible solutions (reforms) to the problems many had documented so well.  Here are some of the most common themes: (Check it Out)

                                                                BUT WHO IS THE ABUSER???
Consider these Facts:

      1.   Abuse Percentages are based on cases reported, Not on ALL Families with children in the US. If based on
       ALL families, abuse is less than 1/2 percent.

      2.  80 Percent of Child Abuse Allegations are FALSE. Learn more from My Story as a Foster Parent
        Association News Letter Editor. Go to My Story
3
.  Federal Funding for Child Welfare Agencies has been decreased over the past few years-What's Wrong
       With This Picture???

3.    4.  Child Welfare Agencies receives $2,000-$6,000 every time a child is taken from their family-What's Wrong
        With This Picture???

       5.   62,000 Foster Parents are leaving Foster Care Nationally each year-What's Wrong With This Picture???
 6.   Asked 100's of Foster Parents if they had bio, guardian, and/or adopted children while being a Foster
         Parent and over 80% said yes
 7.   Child Welfare Agencies are the lead agency that handles the Children for Bio Parents & Foster Parents-
         
What's Wrong With This Picture???

  • Support the Concerns Nationally from Foster Parent Reform that make ALL Involved Responsible for their Actions. Many Concerns that can be used by ALL Families. Stop the Monopolizing Child Welfare Agencies that get funds "In the Name of Child Abuse"

  • Support OR Create Laws that put all involved with the children on an Equal Basis. Not dominated by the Decisions of Child Welfare Agencies, AND Not based on Abuse, but on Ideas that Work to Create a Stronger Family...

Learn More at Our Site   God Bless, GranPa Chuck
 

  • California Judge Issues Injunction Against Orange County CPS Workers--(May 20,2007) Following Orange County Jury's finding CPS workers and agency liable to mother for $4.9 million in compensatory damages plus punitive damages trial judge enters permanent injunction against the California's Orange County to prevent CPS from including in charging allegations any statement that a child is abused, neglected or abandoned without reasonable and articulable evidence to support the claim.....Learn More
  • Majority Leader Karen Bass Introduces New Foster Care Legislation for 2007
    As the new legislative year kicks-off, Assembly Majority Leader Karen Bass (D-Los Angeles) continues her focus on foster care reform by introducing new legislation to improve the California’s Foster Care System. Learn More...