19, 2003)-Governor Rod Blagojevich, the Illinois Department of Children
and Family Services (DCFS) and the Chicago Archdiocese today announced
an agreement that ensures that the children who currently reside at the
Maryville Campus at Des Plaines will receive the highest level care as
quickly as possible, and also provides Maryville an opportunity to resolve
some of the issues impacting the campus and help Maryville fulfill its
core mission. This will be accomplished by allowing Maryville time to
restructure programs on the Des Plaines campus by temporarily removing
the children who live there. Once the problems that forced the temporary
closure of the campus are corrected, DCFS will begin sending children
to the Des Plaines campus.
most important thing here is the safety of the 130 children who live at
the Des Plaines campus," said Governor Blagojevich. "Right now,
there are programs in Illinois that are safer and that can offer these
children better care. Placing these children in those programs is the
right thing to do. The next most important step is giving Maryville a
chance to correct the problems at the Des Plaines campus, and have the
campus up and running again as soon as possible. We're going to work with
Maryville and with the Archdiocese to do that, and as soon as Maryville
shows us that those problems are resolved, we'll start sending children
to the Des Plaines campus again."
persistent reports of quality of care issues from two independent monitors,
as well as a series of other facts gathered over a period of months, DCFS
will transfer the 130 youth currently housed on the campus to alternative
placements. These wards will be transitioned to safe, quality programs
tailored to their individual needs, as determined by clinical assessments.
Some of the problems at the Des Plaines campus included repeated physical
assaults, rape, suicides, and runaways.
group of 39 children will be moved within 30 days to alternative facilities
ready to care for them, such as Allendale, Rice and Lawrence Hall. The
remaining children on the campus will be transitioned to high-level alternative
programs within the next few months. The transition process will be conducted
in a clinically-appropriate manner that focuses on the well-being and
feelings of the youth.
each newly-identified placement will travel to Des Plaines to meet the
children they will care for and discuss plans for educational, medical
and other services that need to be put in place.
youth are moved, DCFS clinical staff will work closely with the children
and the new placement provider to ensure a smooth transition. The two
independent Maryville monitors will continue to consult at the Maryville
campus and will oversee the moving process, until all wards have been
its long history of caring for abused and neglected children, Maryville
has clearly earned the opportunity to correct the problems identified
at the Des Plaines campus. By having sufficient time to restructure its
operations and clinical programs, Maryville will be able to do so without
putting the children they currently serve at risk.
of state wards from the Des Plaines campus will allow Governor Blagojevich,
DCFS, the Maryville Board of Directors and the Chicago Archdiocese to
work together to help Maryville make the changes necessary, so that the
Des Plaines campus can resume serving children who require less intensive
services in a safe, caring and nurturing environment.
between the state, the Archdiocese and the Maryville Board of Directors
will work in conjunction with child welfare experts to redesign the Des
Plaines campus management structure, clinical capacities, programs and
homes. Once all the parties agree that the Maryville Academy is ready,
DCFS will refer new children to the campus. These children will more than
likely be wards who do not need the services of high-end, intensive programs.
DCFS is gratified
to enter into this unprecedented partnership with the Chicago Archdiocese
to restore Maryville to its former stature. By doing so, the Department
reaffirms a commitment to providing the highest quality services to all
youths who are in our care.
- 30 -
Illinois Department of Children and Family Services