IL, APRIL 1, 1998 --Eight agencies that administer state-funded programs
today were presented awards for their exemplary work in child abuse
prevention and reducing infant mortality rates in Illinois.
awards were presented by Illinois Department of Human Services (DHS)
Secretary Howard A. Peters III and Illinois Department of Children
and Family Services (DCFS) Director Jess McDonald to agencies from
Chicago, Springfield, Peoria and Bloomington.
believe that prevention services in the community supported by both
DCFS and DHS have helped us stem the tide of child abuse reports,
" Gov. Jim Edgar said. "The eight programs we honored on
the first day of Child Abuse Prevention Month are the state=s partners
in reaching out to families in crisis, low-income teens and women
lacking access to prenatal care and single mothers and the working
poor in need of day care."
statistics prove that Illinois is moving in the right direction in
its fight against child abuse," DHS Secretary Peters said, citing
the reduction in infant mortality. The statewide infant mortality
rate has declined by 21 percent, from 10.7 infant deaths per 1,000
in 1990 to 8.4 in 1996.
part of our efforts in fighting child abuse, the DHS-administered
Healthy Families Illinois program targets at-risk parents by providing
intensive in-home services that address issues that lead to child
abuse," Secretary Peters said. In 1998, DHS funded seven new
Healthy Families Illinois programs and expanded services at nine existing
providers, bringing the state=s commitment to $2 million.
Director McDonald emphasized the need to reach out to children who
are at risk of abuse or neglect, as well as those who are abused or
neglected. "DCFS-supported child abuse prevention efforts, such
as the $8.6 million Family-Centered Services program, support community-based
family preservation and family support services throughout the state,"
he said. "We also support parenting training, crisis intervention,
public awareness and other prevention activities."
a decline in reports of child abuse or neglect from an all-time high
of 139,726 in FY 1995 to 119,444 reports in FY 1997, McDonald cautioned
that DCFS still has 13 times the number of cases from 20 years ago.
"There are many ways people can help prevent child abuse,"
he said. "They can become foster or adoptive parents, make a
donation to the Illinois Child Abuse Prevention Fund on the state=s
income tax check-off program and, of course, report suspected cases
of child abuse or neglect by calling our hotline at 800-25-ABUSE."
Child Abuse Partner Awards were presented to the following:
SW Adams Street
North Eleventh Street
Veal, Executive Director
Foundation Crisis Nursery
Ronquillo, Executive Director
Chicago Urban League
South Michigan Avenue
and Family Services
Child Abuse - Illinois
South 5th Street, Suite 211
Schlosser, Executive Director
County Health Department
Laker, Executive Director
Houser, Executive Director
Children's Home of Peoria