20, 2005) - Illinois Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS)
Director Bryan Samuels is among recipients of the Lifeline Celebration
Award from the Community Mental Health Council, Inc. The purpose of the
award is to recognize excellence and leadership in behavioral healthcare
and community service. Each year, an independent committee selects honorees
who stand out as beacons of the community because of their commitment
to improving the lives of others and addressing behavioral healthcare
have worked to establish a holistic continuum of care that meets the physical,
developmental and emotional needs of the population that we serve,"
said Director Samuels. "I am honored to receive this award because
it reminds me that there are many others that recognize the critical importance
of this work." DCFS currently has about 17,000 youth in state care.
Samuels has served as the agency's director for two years.
Celebration Award recipients must have a history of supporting major behavioral
healthcare initiatives, have maintained outstanding performance in community
service demonstrating extraordinary leadership capabilities, and have
participated in philanthropic efforts that have made a difference in the
Lifeline award confirms Director Samuels' leadership and dedication to
improving the lives of children in the child welfare system," said
Governor Rod R. Blagojevich. In June, the governor signed into law HB759
that expands mental health services for children in case care, making
Illinois one of the first states in the nation to address mental health
needs of state wards. Rep Lou Long (D-Skokie) and state Sen. Susan Garrett
(D-Highwood) co-sponsored the bill.
ceremony will take place on Saturday, August 20, 2005 at the Westin Hotel,
909 North Michigan Avenue at 7:00 p.m. WFLD Fox News Anchor Tamron Hall
will serve as the Mistress of Ceremony.
approach" in the delivery of services to abused and neglected children,
includes conducting holistic "day-one" mental health assessments
that began in February. The Department partners with universities and
hospitals across the state to provide clinical and professional expertise.
This integrated assessment approach helps provide a comprehensive clinical
understanding of the needs of children in state care.
behavioral health issues is a key component in building strong support
systems that span throughout the life of each child's stay in state care,"
Lifeline Celebration Award honorees include Reverend Dr. Johnnie Coleman,
Founder, Christ Universal Temple; Merri Dee, WGN-9 Director of Community
Relations; and Sister Shelia Lyne, RSM, President and CEO Mercy Hospital
and Medical Center.
Mental Council (CMHC) is committed to the prevention and early detection
of psychiatric and emotional disorders by developing a community that
promotes good physical and mental health. CMHC seeks to fulfill this goal
by providing research on cultural, racial, and ethnically diverse mental
health issues, formal education, advocacy consultation, community education,
and constructive influence over public policy.
Illinois Department of Children and Family Services