IL, FEBRUARY 21, 2001 -- Governor George H. Ryan today proposed
a $1.4 billion 2002 budget for the Department of Children and Family
$35.5 million to continue to move 3,845
children from foster homes to permanent, loving homes. In fact,
during Fiscal Year 2002, the Department will pass another important
milestone when the number of children in substitute care will fall
to less than half of what it was at the peak in May 1997.
In May 1997,
there were 51,596 children in substitute care. By the end of Fiscal
Year 2001, there will be just 24,130 children in out-of-home care
-- a 53% reduction in just over four years. The state will then
have fewer children in custody than at any point since January 1992.
By contrast, there were only 11,539 children receiving adoption
and guardianship subsidies at the end of Fiscal Year 1997; at the
end of Fiscal Year 1001, there will be 41,415 -- a 258.9% increase.
Illinois led the nation in the growth in the number of adoptions
completed in 1998 and again in 1999 and it completed more adoptions
than and other state in the three-year period between 1998 and 2000.
anticipates it will continue to be among the national leaders in
the proportion of children in care moved to adoption again in Fiscal
is gratifying to see the changes that have taken place in the state's
child welfare system," Governor Ryan said. "Not that many
years ago, Illinois' child welfare system was viewed as a symbol
of what was wrong with child welfare nationally. Because of its
success in reducing the number of children in foster care and the
fact the state is the largest child welfare agency to be accredited,
Illinois is viewed as a model of how services can be improved for
the state's most vulnerable children -- its abused and neglected
set the national standard for moving kids to adoption for three
years, in addition to moving over 5,000 more children to loving,
permanent homes through its innovative subsidized guardianship program.
The number of children who are found to be abused again after DCFS
involvement has declined, and fewer children are being brought into
custody. The number of children bright into care for the first time
in Fiscal Year 2000 was 60 percent lower than is was in Fiscal Year
1995. Instances of re-abuse have fallen by more than half. The Department
continues to do a better job of assessing risks to children and
determining when it is necessary to disrupt families to protect
budget grew at double-digit percentage rates every year between
Fiscal Year 1989 and Fiscal Year 1997. However, successful reforms
have allowed the budget to remain level since then.
General Revenue Fund appropriations request for DCFS represents
no change from the Fiscal Year 2001 level. The Department's total
budget will increase by only $6.7 million -- just 0.5%. The increase
is a result of a $2.1 million increase in direct federally-funded
programs and a $4.6 million increase in the children's Services
Fund(CSF). CSF is comprised of deposits of federal reimbursements
for services delivered.
positive changes in Illinois have been accomplished through a series
of major reforms approved by the General Assembly and the work of
many people in both the public and private sectors," said DCFS
Director Jess McDonald.
2002 will also represent the seventh consecutive year DCFS has reduced
the number of children placed in restrictive and expensive residential
the substitute care caseload overall, during Fiscal Year 2002 the
Department's residential caseload will fall below half of when is
was at its peak. By the end of this Fiscal Year, there will be fewer
children placed in residential settings than at any time since Fiscal
Year 1991. In addition, the number of children placed in residential
settings outside of Illinois has already fallen by 93.9 percent
to 48, from a high point of 792 in May 1995. Almost all of the children
remaining in out-of-state facilities are either in contiguous states
or in secured facilities that are not yet available in Illinois.
$1,280,000 has been included to increase funding of Child Advocacy
Centers(CACs). These centers coordinate the activities of various
agencies involved in the investigation, prosecution and treatment
of child sexual abuse cases and serious child physical abuse cases.
budget will support maintenance of the Department's status as the
nation's largest agency accredited by the Council on Accreditation
for Children and Family Services," McDonald said.