PRESIDENT CLINTON GIVES
ILLINOIS LION'S SHARE
OF ADOPTION FUNDS, ILLINOIS PRAISED
FOR RECORD SETTING ADOPTIONS
Governor George H. Ryan announced today that
President Clinton has granted the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services $6.9
million for leading the nation in moving children from foster care into permanent homes.
"Today, I have the honor of presenting the
first round of these awards, worth $20 million, to 35 of our 50 states," said
President Clinton. "The good news is that these states did this, using creative new
approaches and exceeding their own high goals. Illinois, for example - listen to this -
the state of Illinois increased its adoptions by 112 percent - 112 - yes, you can clap for
"We're proud of the progress that DCFS has made
with its adoption and subsidized guardianship programs," Ryan said. "Every child
should be able to go to bed at night feeling safe and secure. Being in a loving, permanent
home provides the security that so many of us took for granted when we were children. This
Presidential award is indeed an honor. We have exceeded the goals we set, but we won't
DCFS will use the $6.9 million award to expand
adoption preservation services and to provide better casework to homes of relative foster
families by reducing the caseloads from 25 families for every caseworker to 22 1/2 cases
FY99 statistics show 7,315 DCFS wards were adopted,
tripling the number of adoptions since FY97. In FY99, 3,019 more children were adopted
than during FY98. Of the FY99 adoptions, more than half were by family members.
Additionally, from FY98 to FY99, the number of children moved into permanency through
subsidized guardianship increased by 72 percent to 2,199.
DCFS Director Jess McDonald credits private agencies
and juvenile courts across the state for their help in moving children into adoptive
"More than 80 percent of our adoptions were
made by private agencies. I'd like to especially thank Cook County Presiding Judge Nancy
Salyers whose leadership resulted in an unprecedented increase in Cook County adoptions
and guardianships," McDonald said.