- Illinois Attorney General Jim Ryan, Department of Children and Family
Services Director Jess McDonald, along with Prevent Child Abuse Illinois
Executive Director Roy Harley, today kicked off the state's observance
of Child Abuse Prevention Month by announcing statistics that show a continued
decline in incidents of child abuse and neglect in Illinois.
past year, the number of children abused and neglected in Illinois declined
by nearly 3 percent, continuing the statewide trend that has resulted
in a 25.9 percent decline in child abuse and neglect cases since 1995.
This decrease runs counter to the national trend in which most states
show increases in abuse and neglect.
of Governor George Ryan's initiatives have contributed to these good numbers,"
said Director McDonald. "Programs such as the Department of Human
Services' Healthy Families Illinois, which serves parents with newborn
children, and the Parents Too Soon (PTS) program, which served nearly
24,000 adolescents and teen parents under the age of 21, are just two
examples of community-based programs that work."
Another example of a successful initiative is the Prenatal Network Program
developed by DHS. In FY00, the Prenatal Network Program - a network of
hospitals, physicians and others who provide health care services during
pregnancy and childbirth - served approximately 22,000 women.
all of these improvements, children still die and each child's death is
an unacceptable tragedy. Last year we experienced another increase in
the number of child deaths in the state. It takes partnerships in each
community to make kids safe at home, and partnerships are what we're honoring
today," said McDonald.
Abuse Prevention Month provides an opportunity to focus public attention
and energies on the tragedy of child abuse, and the clear need to find
ways to prevent it," Roy Harley of Prevent Child Abuse added.
founding in 1990, Prevent Child Abuse Illinois has developed or promoted
initiatives that contribute to strong, healthy families where children
are raised in a safe and nurturing environment, and provided parents with
the help and tools to ensure the healthy development of their children.
The organization accomplishes this mission through public awareness campaigns,
parent education and support programs, professional training and technical
assistance, and community-level coalition building.
receiving "Special Recognition" at today's ceremony are Local
Area Network (LAN)-based programs that have reputations for success in
reducing child abuse and neglect. The programs are representative samples
of community-based prevention programs in Illinois' urban, suburban and
rural areas. Each nominee had to be in existence for at least two fiscal
years. Each program had to be based on the following principles: Innovation,
Collaboration, Family Focused, Parent/Client Driven, and Outcome Based.
and Family Services - Peoria, IL
Visitation Center - Herrin, IL
Human Services - West Frankfort, IL
of Prayer Youth Center - Momence, IL
Family Services - Chicago, IL
Children's Home Association - Chicago, IL
& Associates - Herrin, IL
County Mental Health Board in Partnership with McHenry County Youth
Service Bureau - Crystal Lake, IL
Family Services - Evanston, IL
Family Services, South Chicago Center - Chicago, IL
Education Project - Chicago, IL
Help Line - Springfield, IL
Success of Vermillion County, Inc. - Danville, IL
Methodist Children's Home - Mt. Vernon, IL