We've already written about how drug treatment programs, social services and child welfare
have fallen victim to the dysfunction in Springfield. This
afternoon we confirmed some news that cements just how bad things
Despite being one of the wealthier ...
We've already written about how drug treatment programs, social services and child welfare have fallen victim to the dysfunction in Springfield. This afternoon we confirmed some news that cements just how bad things have gotten.
Despite being one of the wealthier states in the nation, Illinois officials are scrambling to figure out how they'll cut the checks that foster families rely on to buy food, clothing, and other necessities for the children they look after.
We're waiting on the comptroller and the governor's budget office to fill us in on the details. Apparently the pending payments are lumped in with the multi-billion backlog in bills. Included in that backlog are 316,000 unpaid vouchers, some of which date back to August 13, according to Alan Henry, a spokesman from Comptroller Dan Hynes' office.
"We're working with DCFS to work something out," is all Henry would say about the potential delay of foster care aid this afternoon. More details should be forthcoming Tuesday morning, he said.
As of last June, 16,160 children were in Illinois' foster care system, according to a state website. It's not clear what the tally is now. Whatever the figure, the state's child welfare system is under a lot of financial stress this year.
As we noted last week, 179 state child welfare workers are facing layoffs on Nov. 1. The money needed to keep those staffers on is there. Or at least it was when the legislature approved sweeping $221 million from earmarked accounts to restore those and other cuts earlier this fall. Gov. Blagojevich has yet to sign a companion appropriations bill to release the money.
In the meantime, Gladys Boyd, a foster parent and the president of the Illinois Foster Adoptive Care Association says she and others may have to go it alone."Who are you gonna call?" she said. "You're in a boat with no paddle."