(February 16, 2005) - Governor Rod Blagojevich today proposed a Fiscal
Year 2006 budget for the Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS)
that more effectively provides for high quality services to the state's
most vulnerable citizens- abused and neglected children.
proposed budget affirms the Governor's commitment to ensure that every
child matters," said DCFS Director Bryan Samuels. "It also illustrates
that by continuing to focus on its core mission, DCFS can operate effectively
in a tough fiscal climate."
billion dollar FY06 budget proposal for DCFS includes $825 million from
the General Revenue Fund, up from $781 million in fiscal year 2005. DCFS
plans to focus state dollars on appropriate treatment protocols, programs
and opportunities that specialize in childhood trauma. The Department
also intends to sustain the private agency foster care caseload ratios,
redesigned in FY05, to assist in improving the quality of the casework.
budget focuses on meeting the physical, developmental, educational and
emotional needs of the increasingly older mix of children in the DCFS
system. Funding has been identified for the redesign of the Transitional
Living and Independent Living Programs that will provide a seamless continuum
of services for youth transitioning to adulthood. Additionally, the Intensive
Stabilization initiative includes a series of targeted strategies to stabilize
older youth who have lived in multiple placements and have a pattern of
budget plan also includes $30 million dollars to support service enhancements
mandated by the federal government as part of their comprehensive federal
review process. The Program Improvement Plan submitted to and approved
by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services contained strategies
that will strengthen the delivery of much needed services, such as mental
health services, to children in the DCFS system.
proposal also reflects the overall decline in caseloads. The approximately
18,000 children in the DCFS system is the lowest level in 15 years, down
from over 51,000 in 1997.
decline in caseloads offers us an opportunity to focus on the quality
of care rather than on the quantity," said Director Samuels. "In
1997, we worried about whether or not there was a bed available for a
child entering the system. Now, DCFS can focus on providing quality care
for children and, fulfill its obligation to prepare them for a healthy
and productive life."
Illinois Department of Children and Family Services