DEPARTMENT OF CHILDREN AND FAMILY SERVICES
AND FAMILY SERVICES PLAN
FY95 --99 FINAL REVIEW
the Department of Children and Family Services developed and adopted
a comprehensive strategic plan--the consolidated Child and Family
Services Plan (CFSP). This new charter subsumed major agency planning
processes, and now serves as their core. The CFSP requires that all
activities performed by DCFS and its contractors be directed toward
achieving one or more of three primary goals:
Safety--protect children from abuse and neglect
Permanency--provide children with permanent, stable living
Well-being--strengthen families and children and enhance
with Title IV-B of the Social Security Act and the Adoption and Safe
Families Act of 1997, the Departments paramount concern is always
for the health and safety of the children being served.
and FY98, the Department published an Annual Progress and Services
Report (APSR) on its progress and accomplishments related to the above
goals and statutory requirements. In FY99, the Department is publishing
a Final Review for the FY95-99 period. The Final Review has been consolidated
into the FY2000-FY2004 Child and Family Services Plan (CFSP) to reduce
the duplication of both information and collaborative development
involved in related but separate documents written within the same
time period of time.
Review shares Appendices with the CFSP which include background statistical
reports, a detailed Training Plan for the Department, an update of
progress on the Action Steps in the FY97-99 CFSP, an update of progress
on the corrective actions identified in the HHS Pilot Audit, FY99
CAPTA report, and the IV-E Independent Living Program FFY98 Report
and FFY2000 application information.
year from FY91 through FY95, the number of calls to the DCFS child
abuse hotline increased sharply. This translated into significant
increases in the number of investigations completed and in more children
being taken into custody. As a result, there was double digit growth
in the substitute care population for each of those years. That trend
was broken in FY96 when the number of children in care grew by just
5%. This downward trend continued in FY97 when the substitute care
caseload grew by only 1.4%, from 50,038 to 50,727. In fact, the number
of cases peaked at 51,595 in March 1997, with a steady decline since
then. With the introduction of performance contracting for Cook County
home of relative cases in FY98 and the expansion statewide to all
cases in FY99, the substitute care caseload ended FY98 at 46,103 and
stood at 41,259 in May 1999.
Illinois had the highest substitute care rate in the nation. Home
of relative reform started the process of bringing the state back
in line with the rest of the country. However, the reform of child
welfare in Illinois has involved dozens of different changes to almost
every aspect of the Department's work, from better prevention work
at points of entry into care to the huge increases in the number of
children leaving substitute care for permanent homes. The following
descriptions catalog the most significant of these changes and, where
possible, some of their results.
reviewing this progress, it should be noted that child welfare in
Illinois is a system, not just the workings of the Department of Children
and Family Services. The operations of this system are dictated by
federal laws, state laws passed by the General Assembly and signed
by the Governor, judicial consent decrees, and case law. The Permanency
Initiative, which became state law in 1997, gave child welfare the
clear mandate that every child deserves our best efforts to find them
with a safe and permanent home. It was critical that the court, particularly
in Cook County, embrace this mission quickly and they did.
also recognize that three-quarters of foster care, all residential
care and most independent living cases are managed by the private
sector. A substantial portion of the credit for the improvement in
the system's performance should be given to their hard work in embracing
the changes needed to improve the lives of abused and neglected children.
Goal of Safety
safety is the paramount goal of DCFS, from the initial call to the
hotline to the day a case is closed. Partnerships with law enforcement
through Child Advocacy Centers are vital. Timely and accurate investigations
with immediate connections to services are critical. The Department
has also enhanced the tools that are used to assess risk and deal
with particular problems. Additional changes to further improve child
safety are underway.
All Public And Private Agency Staff Can Assess Safety and Risk Issues
Over 7,000 Department and private agency child protection
workers, child welfare workers and direct service supervisors were
trained and certified on the Child Endangerment Risk Assessment
Protocol (CERAP) in FY96 and FY97, who were required to pass a stringent
certification test. This protocol was developed by a statewide multi-disciplinary
team and the American Humane Association. A study presented to the
General Assembly in May 1999 found that in the first two years following
implementation of the CERAP, recurrences of maltreatment dropped
End Redesign - The Department is comprehensively restructuring
services that families and children receive when they first become
known to the Department. The intent is to provide more timely and
appropriate services that work together to ensure the safety of
children and respond to family needs. In combination with HMR reform,
these early intervention and prevention efforts have helped reduce
intake of children into substitute care by almost half since FY95,
from a peak of 1,299 cases per month to about 658 today. Furthermore,
recurrences of maltreatment have been reduced (see previous point).
Centered Services Initiative - Through this federally funded
initiative, DCFS funds Local Area Networks to offer family support
and family preservation services in non-categorical ways. In FY00,
the funding will also include family reunification and adoption
preservation in the service mix, in keeping with revised federal
Day Care Licensing Staffing - Rapid growth in the need
for child day care resulted in increase in the number of applications
for day care homes and centers that overwhelmed the existing staff
the Department had to carryout this function. A large backlog in
applications built-up. To resolve this problem, the Department increased
the workforce handling day care licenses by 73. This was done without
increasing overall agency headcount by taking advantage of decreasing
substitute care caseloads to eliminate casework and support positions.
Licensing applications are once again being processed in a timely
Death Review Teams - Child death review teams are operating
in each of the seven downstate sub-regions and two in Cook County.
They consist of professionals from a wide variety of disciplines
who review all factors involved in child deaths. They make recommendations
for improving the identification of high-risk situations and the
investigations of child abuse and neglect. New changes in state
law are expanding the role of death review teams. In July 1998,
the Child Death Review Team Act was amended to mandate the review
of the death of any child whose death is reported to SCR and which
report is subsequently indicated. Child Death Review Teams may review
at their discretion other sudden, unexplained, unexpected child
Opinions of "Unfounded" Reports of Abuse and
Neglect: Mandated Reporters by Multi-disciplinary Teams -
The Department has established multi-disciplinary teams in each
region to afford mandated reporters of child abuse and neglect the
opportunity to obtain a second opinion on reports that they feel
were inappropriately determined as "unfounded." This is
to assure mandated reporters that their concerns about child abuse
victims they report are fully addressed.
Review Panels - Four active Department advisory groups have
agreed to take on the additional responsibility of Citizen Review
Panels. In addition, the Department is forming a Steering Committee
made up of the Chairs of these groups and other key persons. The
Citizen Review Panels conducted preliminary meetings this Spring
and are formulating their plans for operation.
Goal of Permanency
care is often necessary to protect children who would otherwise face
harm from abusive or neglectful parents. However, it also can keep
children from feeling certain about their futures. Until recently,
long-term foster care was one of the acceptable permanency goals for
wards. However, long-term foster care cannot and should not be considered
a permanency goal with reunification with parents, adoption, and subsidized
guardianship. Significant efforts by DCFS in the past two years to
increase permanency for children include:
Emphasis on Adoptions - Between FY91 and FY95 number of
finalized adoptions grew roughly in line with growth in the foster
care caseload. In FY96, when growth in substitute care fell to just
5%, special efforts by the Department increased the number of finalized
adoptions by 34.3%. In FY97, another record was set as 2,229 adoptions
were finalized. With the start of performance contracting and the
passage of permanency legislation by the General Assembly, 4,293
adoptions were finalized in FY98, an increase of 92.6%. In addition,
more adoptions were finalized in the first half of FY99 than were
finalized in the same period in FY98.
Contracting - In recent years Illinois had one of the nation's
worst records in the movement of children from substitute care to
permanent homes. To address this problem, the Department initiated
a performance contracting system in FY98 for all Cook County home
of relative cases, and in FY99 performance contracting was extended
to regular foster care in Cook County and to both relative and regular
foster care downstate. Under performance contracting, providers
receive additional up-front resources and financial incentives to
move children safely and appropriately out of the system. In return,
private agencies agree to a three-fold improvement in the movement
of children to permanent homes and a substantial reduction in the
movement of children into higher intensity settings, compared to
what existed in FY96 and the first half of FY97. This program increased
the number of children moved to permanency for this population from
about 2,200 in FY97 to about 5,300 in FY98. In FY99 performance
contracting was extended to regular foster care in Cook County and
to both relative and regular foster care Downstate.
in the Section 1130 SSA Demonstration - For a variety of
reasons, many foster parents, particularly relatives, do not feel
comfortable legally adopting their foster children even though they
will make a commitment to raising the child to adulthood. To provide
a permanency alternative for such families, the state has received
a federal waiver to offer subsidized guardianship for children who
have been in care for at least two years and who have lived with
the same family for at least one year. Reunification and adoption
must have been ruled out as options for the child. Under this program,
foster parents assume guardianship of children and DCFS oversight
is removed, but the family still may receive a monthly stipend to
care for these children.
FY98, the Departments research director oversaw implementation
and initial evaluation of the program. This included working with
the Governor?s African-American Family Commission to convene an
advisory research group to the program. As co-chair of that group,
the research director oversaw the Request for Proposal process for
the evaluation. After a vendor, Westat, was selected, the director
worked with them to develop evaluation and data collection instruments.
Another vendor, HuTech of Chicago, was selected to provide training
and post guardianship services for child welfare staff as well as
those who assume guardianship. In addition, the advisory group met
three times with community groups to review the proposed program.
The first cases were converted to subsidized guardianship status
in May 1997. The Department converted 185 children to this new status
by the end of FY97 and another 1,301 children were moved to guardianship
in FY98. The Department estimates there will be over 1,741 children
moved to this status during FY99.
the Section 1130 demonstration, in addition to the information reported
in this CFSP Final Review, the Department submits an annual waiver
evaluation report, an interim and a final evaluation report, semi-annual
progress reports, and an implementation status report on the demonstration.
- New permanency legislation passed in 1997 and Department
policy lay out clearer criteria for deciding if children can be
returned to their families and for services that must be provided
to support the family and ensure the child's safety. Under traditional
contracting agencies could only get paid for a limited amount of
aftercare staff support but no other services were covered. Under
performance contracting they receive more funding for aftercare
staff support and can spend up to an average of $3,000 per child
to provide other supports and services, depending on the individual
family's needs. Reunifications as a proportion of newly opened cases
increased from 44.9% in FY97 to 55.2% in FY98.
Goal of Well-Being
abuse and neglect are the triggers that bring DCFS into a family's
life. However, abuse and neglect are usually the symptoms of other
family problems. In addition, children who are abused and neglected
tend to experience disproportionate problems in areas such as education
and health. Abuse and neglect cannot be addressed in a vacuum. If
the goal is to keep a family intact or to reunify it, the problems
of parents that interfere with safety and permanency for a child,
such as drug abuse, must be addressed in order for them to be achievable.
When the Department places children in substitute care, those same
underlying problems must be addressed or wards may continue to suffer
the adverse consequences of abuse and neglect longer than necessary.
Major steps DCFS has undertaken in recent years to address these problems
Care Network - The Department has created the HealthWorks
of Illinois program to serve the wards placed in substitute care.
Prior to the creation of HealthWorks, it was difficult to find physicians
who would serve wards, and it was even harder to maintain continuity
of health care. Since the implementation of the program, over 3,000
physicians have agreed to provide care for wards on a timely basis
and provide documentation of this care in a standardized format.
Due to HealthWorks, no children have been turned out of school due
to lack of necessary immunizations and all children coming into
the state's custody have access to initial health screenings, comprehensive
health evaluations, and on-going primary and specialty health care.
Enrollment currently is at 96% of wards.
in Diagnosis and Treatment of Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse (AODA)
- The Department is developing and implementing numerous pilot projects
to address the challenges faced by families confronted with alcohol
and other drug abuse. The Intact Family Recovery and Healthy FIT
demonstration projects in Cook County emphasize engaging and re-engaging
parents in treatment, ensuring child safety, and imposing graduated
sanctions when needed. In a new initiative by DCFS, Cook County
Juvenile Court judges can refer parents suspected of having alcohol
or other drug problems for immediate assessment and same-day AODA
treatment. The Department is also completing the final states of
developing a treatment support project for families identified in
Cook County Temporary Custody hearings as needing AODA treatment.
Department of Human Service's (DHS) Services for DCFS Clients
- The DHS Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse (OASA) and Children
and Family Services are involved in an ongoing, joint initiative
to assess and treat substance abusing parents of children for whom
DCFS is responsible when the goal is to return the child home. DHS
is responsible for funding providers for assessment and treatment,
while DCFS is responsible for funding for support services. The
support services include case management and outreach services provided
by Project SAFE programs, family life educators in residential treatment
programs, and child care services for women while they attend outpatient
and intensive outpatient treatment. During FY97, 15 Project SAFE
sites became a part of the program, and OASA began funding four
additional SAFE sites. In FY00, OASA and DCFS will jointly fund
two more, raising the total to 21. Per DHS data, more than 9,900
unduplicated individual Department clients were served in these
programs in FY96. More than 10,000 were served FY97 and more than
11,800 in both FY98 and FY99. For FY00, plans call for services
to more than 12,000 clients.
in Services for Sexually Aggressive Children and Youth (SACY)
DCFS has put systems in place to identify wards who may be
sexually aggressive. Each child is assessed to decide if a safety
plan is needed to keep that child and others safe. If a safety plan
is implemented, the child is tracked and monitored through any changes
in placement to continue to ensure safety. Standards for services
and treatment of sexually aggressive children and youth were created
and implemented in the fall of 1996, as was training for providers.
Site visits to assess the level of provider compliance or improvements
needed have been ongoing.
Initiatives - The Department's education initiatives emphasize
early identification and remediation of problems that affect children's
future school success. DCFS has developed a comprehensive system
of technical assistance and support-in-place designed to improve
educational outcomes for children of all ages. This includes developmental
screens to all wards under age five in collaborative projects with
schools and health departments.
majority of the state's foster children live within the boundaries
of the Chicago Public School (CPS) System. To address student educational
problems, DCFS has entered into a series of collaborative agreements
with the CPS. One of the most important of these projects is ensuring
school attendance by all Department wards. On a monthly basis, CPS
provides DCFS with data of students under DCFS care who have
been identified as truant. This information is sent to the youths
caseworker so that problem-solving can occur between the caseworker,
school, foster parents, and child to re-enroll and stabilize the
youth in school. In addition, a truancy protocol has been developed
whereby DCFS workers can contact CPS Regional Truancy Staff when
school-based efforts have been unsuccessful.
Cash Assistance Program - This program has provided short-term
assistance to families when the only reason children would be taken
into custody or the only reason a child cannot otherwise be returned
home is environmental. It has proved to be extremely cost effective.
Small short-term expenditures prevent the need to spend the substantial
sums that would be needed if the same children were placed in state
custody. In FY98, 3,534 families received emergency cash assistance
and 1,033 received housing locator services. In FY99, an estimated
4,600 families received emergency cash assistance while 1,400 received
to the delivery of quality services is critical to producing good
results. In recent years, the Department has made major strides in
fulfilling this commitment. They include:
- The Department continues to pursue its efforts to be accredited
by the Council on Accreditation of Services for Families and Children.
So far 23 of 65 field sites and all central office functions
have been accredited. The Department is committed to having all
sites and functions accredited. If successful, Illinois will be
only the second state agency in the nation, and the largest agency,
public or private, to achieve accreditation. In addition to Department
is moving to have all the private agencies who manage foster care
cases become accredited. Sixty-one private agencies are accredited
already and all the remaining have submitted applications.
of Quality Assurance - An Office of Quality Assurance was
created in response to the Department's need to ensure that child
welfare services are delivered in a timely manner which complies
with Department standards. The staff of this office is responsible
for conducting comprehensive reviews of direct service operations
and for producing and evaluating performance and outcome information.
Certification - Legislation passed in 1998 requires that
all child welfare workers be certified. The Department is in the
process of developing the requirements for achieving certification
at this time.
Quality Assurance Plans The Department has developed
Regional Quality Assurance Plans which include: structured supervision
requirements to meet Council on Accreditation standards, peer review
of casework performance, and implementation of Regional Quality
Councils. These ensure that information obtained through various
quality assurance processes helps improve service quality.
Training for Both the Public and Private Sectors - A major
initiative has been undertaken to retrain all DCFS caseworkers and
supervisors on the Model of Practice, adopted by the Department
as the foundation of child welfare practice. The training is a six
week program which includes 120 hours of classroom instruction.
In addition, the FY99 budget included funds to bring private agencies
into the Department's training program. This will allow private
agencies to buy into core and other regular DCFS training programs.
(Bringing private agencies into the DCFS training program fully
is dependent on reaching agreement with federal reviewers and the
private agencies on how to account for match.)
Work Education Program - To professionalize the level of
supervision in the Department, all direct service supervisors must
now possess a master's degree in Social Work or a master's degree
in a related field as recognized by the Council on Accreditation
for Services to Children and Families. Over 100 supervisors went
back to school under this program. All will have completed their
degrees by the end of FY99.
recognizes the importance of increasing its accountability to clients
and policy makers. This has meant increased measurement and assessment
of the work completed by DCFS and the work completed by others on
its behalf It has also meant greater dissemination of information
about service outcomes. Other steps toward greater accountability
of Service (POS) Redesign - Most DCFS regular and relative
caseload management administrative fees are now based on 22.5:1
child to worker ratio. Until FY96, DCFS also monitored private agencies
through liaisons that each monitored 100 individual cases held by
private agencies. There was little coordinated review of the overall
performance of individual agencies. To address this, DCFS created
Agency Performance (AP) Teams in Cook County. These teams are better
able to monitor the overall performance of agencies. More attention
is paid to performance measures such as the movement of wards to
permanency. Agencies with good performance records receive more
of the new cases. Conversely, agencies that are performing poorly
are approached to take corrective actions. Input from the Cook County
Public Guardian's Office is encouraged, and specialized monitors
are used in certain cases. POS redesign was implemented downstate
during FY98, with local variations as appropriate. More recently,
the Department restructured private agency oversight into a single
unit within the Department.
and Family Research Center - The Child and Family Research
Center was established in FY96 at the University of Illinois at
Urbana-Champaign. Housed at the School of Social Work, it is intended
to research and evaluate the outcomes of services delivered by DCFS
and private agencies. It conducts research on critical issues impacting
the performance of the child welfare system, pursues new areas of
inquiry that directly inform child welfare policy and practice in
Illinois, and develops additional capacity within the state to support
worker training and policy-related research in child welfare. The
Center also encourages research through partnership with other Illinois
Parent Bill of Rights and Responsibilities - As part of
the means of implementing the bill of rights, all agencies and DCFS
regions submit annual plans on how they will adhere to its requirements.
Regional Foster Parent Advisory Councils help assess each plan utilizing
a standardized review format. When an agency plan is found deficient
they receive a letter outlining the problems. They are required
to submit changes to their plans to bring them into compliance.
services involve a wide range of individuals and agencies. They make
it possible to customize service plans to children's needs by wrapping
services around them. This process heightens a community's awareness
of its needs and capacities. The alternatives it produces are more
community and family based and less expensive than institutional care.
Following are some of the special initiatives the Department has undertaken
to promote the community-based approach:
Local Area Networks (LAN's) - Front End
Redesign allows LANs to develop and organize resources so that community-based
services can be delivered to intact families. The Department is
working with LAN conveners and a statewide work group to develop
a variety of models for ensuring that immediate, appropriate services
are available. Families will be referred by either child protective
investigators or intact family workers. They will build on lessons
learned in the Family Centered Services Initiative.
Improving Service Opportunities for Adolescents Through
Local Area Networks -Wraparound services are programs
constructed by LANs for individual children who are ready to step
down from more intensive treatment services or who would have to
move to more intensive and restrictive settings unless they receive
localized, individually tailored programs. Service packages may
include counseling, advocacy, mentoring, psychological or psychiatric
services, therapeutic recreation, short term residential and other
services. This allows increased local control and a more normal
community life for the child.
Extended Family Support (EFS) - EFS provides
services to relatives who are already caring for children at the
time they come to the attention of DCFS. While the children may
not be abused or neglected, social services may still be needed
to stabilize the family or prevent a later placement away from the
relatives. During FY98, this program served 685 families, and 99%
of the children involved did not come into custody during the service
Service Coordination for TANF Recipients The
Illinois Department of Human Services (DHS) and the Illinois Department
of Children and Family Services (DCFS) are implementing a new, statewide
policy of coordinating service delivery to all intact families receiving
Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) cash assistance from
DHS. Interagency case coordination is intended to ensure that DCFS-mandated
family-preservation activities and IDHS-mandated work-readiness
activities are complementary and not conflicting or duplicative.
Under the new policy the family-preservation caseworker is primarily
responsible for identifying dual-involved families by running a
computer check of DHSs client information system when a new
DCFS intact family case is opened and also during the six-month
review of open cases. Whenever either a family-preservation or work-readiness
caseworker identifies a dual-involved family, one is to notify the
other caseworker and commence the case coordination process.
FY91 and FY95, the total substitute care caseload grew by 108.7%,
from 22,841 to 47,673. The bulk of that growth came in home of relative
care, which rose by 160.9%, from 10,370 to 27,051.
that same period, increases in the use of higher intensity services
raised the average cost per child even faster than the caseload was
growing. The use of specialized foster care, which is about two and
a half times more expensive than regular foster care, grew by 129.3%,
from 3,016 to 6,917. The number of children in institutions, whose
care is almost nine times more expensive than regular foster care,
increased 102.2%, from 2,049 to 4,144. The Department is obligated
to assure that such services are available and appropriately target
children who truly need them. Failure to do this is not only more
expensive, but squanders the limited human and physical capital available
to deliver such services. Therefore, DCFS has undertaken a series
of reforms and initiatives to manage the use of higher intensity services
for wards. Some of these steps are outlined below and in other sections.
Home of Relative Care - After growing by
160.8% in the prior five years, the number of children in home of
relative care grew by just 3.0% in FY96, following implementation
of home of relative reform measures. In FY97 this caseload actually
declined by 0.8%, or 221 children. With implementation of performance
contracting in Cook County this caseload fell by 12.9% in FY98 and
continues to fall at least as rapidly in FY99.
Better Screening for Special Needs Determinations -
The Department found that use of specialized
foster care was increasing faster than any indication of need for
it. At the same time, it was noted that there was no tool to objectively
assess whether a child had special needs which justified the decisions
to provide more intensive specialized services and higher rates.
Thus, in May 1996, the Department implemented a level of care protocol.
This requires that an assessment be completed before the movement
of a child into specialized care and that there be regular reviews
to assure that specialized services are still justified. As a result,
use of specialized care, which had grown more rapidly than substitute
care overall every year prior to the implementation of the protocol,
grew by just 21 cases in FY97 and fell by 7.6%, 559 cases, in FY98.
This caseload has continued to fall steadily in FY99.
Regular Foster Care Growth Reduced
In addition to HMR and specialized foster care, regular foster care
grew as well. Since FY96, the Department has improved its handling
of cases at the front end of the system. This has reduced intake
into substitute care across the board. There has also been an increased
emphasis on moving children to permanency more quickly. As a result,
the non-relative Foster Care caseload fell by 1.8% in FY98, compared
to the 13.2% increase in FY97.
Appropriate Use of Residential Treatment - Department
sponsored studies of the use of residential care found that many
children were kept longer than necessary due to limited monitoring
and step-down planning and that some institutionalization could
be avoided through the use of alternative care arrangements. To
assure institutional placements are made only when necessary, DCFS
implemented a series of reforms including: Placement Review Team
assessments, increased use of Local Area Networks and wraparound
services, and special efforts to move children back into their communities.
As a result, the number of residential placements decreased by 6.7%
in FY96, 15.1% in FY97 and by 11% in FY98. The number of children
in residential placements has continued to decline from 3,204 at
the end of FY98 to 2,920 at the end of FY99.
Fewer Children in Institutions Outside of Illinois
Based on Department trends, it was once estimated that there would
be 1,105 children in institutions outside of Illinois by the end
of FY95. However, as a result of concerted efforts, a peak of 792
was reached in May 1995, and the number has fallen sharply since.
There were 624 children outside of Illinois at the end of FY96,
but only 325 at the end of FY97, an astounding 47.9% reduction.
The number fell to just 189 at the end of FY98, another 41.8% decrease.
The number has since fallen to just 153 (as of June 1999) of which
53 were non-ward, GYSI cases ordered to DCFS by the courts. This
effort was successful partially due to a public-private partnership,
where Illinois residential care providers and in-home services providers
developed individual care plans to bring children back to Illinois.
Expenditures & Maximizing Federal Financial Participation
Expenditure Growth Brought Under Control
- For eight years in a row, between FY89 and FY96,
DCFS total and General Revenue expenditures increased each year
at double-digit rates. In each of these years, DCFS spending grew
far faster than the rate of state government revenues. This string
was broken in FY97, when GRF spending grew by 5.0%. For FY98, GRF
expenditures actually decreased by 2%. For FY99 GRF appropriations
decreased but total expenditures will increase slightly based on
increased federal receipts and the beginning of full scale development
of the Statewide Automated Child Welfare Information System (SACWIS)
Federal Claims Continue to Increase While Expenditure
Growth Slows - Federal revenues increased
rapidly during the period when DCFS total spending was growing dramatically.
While overall expenditure growth has slowed substantially since
the end of FY96, federal revenues continue to climb as the Department
improves the licensing of relatives and its claiming procedures.
In fact, between FY95 and FY98 Title IV-E claiming increased by
54.0%. Although the substitute care caseload is decreasing, federal
claiming is decreasing only slightly because the proportion of spending
claimed on adoption and guardianship cases is higher than for other