Governor Rod R. Blagojevich, Maryville Academy and the Illinois Department
of Children and Family Services (DCFS) today announced a plan that will
convert Maryvilles Des Plaines Campus into the states premiere
academic enrichment center serving children in Illinois child welfare
plan, Maryville will begin implementing necessary reforms to convert the
Des Plaines campus into an academic enrichment center and help children
in the DCFS system graduate from high school (currently, only 33% of children
in the DCFS system finish high school). In addition to helping children
graduate from high school, the program will provide vocational training
for high school students who are not going on to college, provide a home
for college students during summers and vacations, and provide tutoring
for students, mentoring programs, and internships.
includes the following key elements:
39 of the
130 children who currently live at Maryvilles Des Plaines campus
and have significant needs will be moved within the next
several weeks to programs in a better position to serve children with
complex needs. This transition process includes a meeting at the Des Plaines
campus with the child, Maryville staff, DCFS, the childs family
and others to ensure each childs specific needs are properly assessed
and addressed. At these meetings all participants, especially the child,
has input into the placement decision. Once the new program is selected,
the child will visit the site and meet the people who run the program.
This process has already begun.
will have six to eight weeks to implement a host of management reforms
that will address the issues and problems that have faced the campus over
the past several years. If the problems have been successfully addressed
and the reforms have been successfully implemented meaning the
Des Plaines campus can provide a safe living environment and proper treatment
for the children who live there the remaining children will stay
on the campus until they complete their treatment plan.
If the reforms
have not been successfully implemented, DCFS will continue to move the
children to programs that can provide better care.
to making a series of reforms, Maryville must complete a plan outlining
the individualized care each child needs, and detail the clinically appropriate
length of time the child stays on the Des Plaines campus before moving
to a more appropriate setting. As each child remaining on the campus completes
his or her treatment plan and moves on to the next level of care, DCFS
will begin sending children to the Des Plaines campus to participate in
the academic enrichment program.
length of stay for the children who are currently at Maryville is supposed
to be eleven months. As a result, by the beginning of the next academic
year, the vast majority if not all of the children who currently
live at Maryville will have moved onto the next appropriate level of care,
and a new group of 130 children will have moved into the campus to attend
the academic enrichment program.
reforms to be made by Maryville include:
Establishing a management structure that clearly allocates all decision-making
authority and accountability for programs, policies, and administration
of the Des Plaines campus;
Establishing a leadership team with specific expertise in secondary
and higher education, child and adolescent development, clinical social
work and psychology;
Providing a three-year budget in the Consolidated Financial Report (CFR)
format and should include costs for operations, proper staffing, occupancy,
and direct care of all children who live at Des Plaines;
Establishing intake protocols that document specific academic, social,
and clinical histories of each child; and
Requiring Maryvilles leadership team to participate in joint admissions
processes with DCFS for children applying for enrollment at Des Plaines.
Smyth will help lead the conversion at the Des Plaines campus into an
academic enrichment center by joining Maryvilles Board of Directors
and will act as the chief fundraiser for the institution.
plan gives Maryville a direction and a focus that takes advantage of their
years of experience, Blagojevich said.
most importantly, it helps the children who currently live at Maryville,
and it gives thousands of other children in the DCFS system a chance at
a better future.
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