* A friend of mine read the post yesterday about Family Focus laying off 100 employees and slashing its services. The group provides parenting classes for DCFS families, “drastically reducing the percentage of parents that reengage with the system.”
My friend said she couldn’t sleep last night and explained why via text message this morning…
I was playing out all the awful scenarios. DCFS is already WAY over capacity in terms of caseloads. Without Family Focus and other similar organizations, those numbers go up. That means more and more children who are being neglected and abused who are just waiting for a grown up to step in and save them will die. That’s not hyperbolic. That’s what actually happens.
Remember when Rauner said Quinn owned the consequences of his dysfunctional DCFS?
We’re talking about getting to a point where there’s a tangible body count. Of children.
* And it’s not just DCFS children. Here’s Mark Brown…
Operators of group homes across Illinois say they are facing a staffing crisis because they can’t pay high enough wages to attract workers.
And they say they can’t pay workers more because for nearly 10 years the state has not increased the reimbursement rates it provides for the care of individuals residing in their homes.
As a result, 13 group homes across Illinois have closed in the past year while another 22 have consolidated, according to the Illinois Association of Rehabilitation Facilities.
That translate into fewer group home openings for the Lenza twins and thousands of other families in a state that was already regarded as woefully short of housing opportunities for disabled adults.
Illinois has more than 8,500 individuals with developmental disabilities on a waiting list for residential services. Even when approved for funding, they often have trouble finding a group home in their area that will accept them.
Go read the whole thing.
…Adding… Pritzker campaign…
Family Focus, an early childhood development center with seven locations across the Greater Chicagoland area, has announced a “mass layoff” amid the historically-long budget crisis manufactured by Bruce Rauner. A stunning 71% of their staff is being let go to end a “severe cash flow crisis” as they wait for $2.7 million in state payments. That amounts to another 100 jobs lost under Rauner’s failed leadership.
Meanwhile, Bruce Rauner spent his day yesterday visiting Iowa to attend a ribbon-cutting ceremony and is the happiest he’s been in 20 years.
“For two and a half years, Bruce Rauner has been utterly tone deaf, saying that ‘we’ll take short-term pain for big long-term gain.’ But these are people we’re talking about, not line items on a budget,” said JB Pritzker. “This is not short term. These are children. You can’t unhurt a child. You can’t redo childhood. The children and families who lose access to these services will be permanently affected. Is Rauner’s special interest agenda worth endangering the lives and well-being of the 17,000 families Family Focus serves?”
…Adding More… From the DGA…
Late last Friday, Governor Rauner’s administration announced the appointment of Beverly Walker to head the state’s troubled Department of Children and Family Services after the resignation of George Sheldon.
Governor Rauner has not, however, gone into any details about the scandals that engulfed DCFS and played a part in the Sheldon’s resignation. Nor has Rauner explained to the public what it was doing to correct the mistakes of the past and prevent future tragedies. In his only public comments on Sheldon’s resignation, Rauner said his administration was “investigating everything” pertaining to the ex-Director’s tenure, yet the public has seen nothing.
All he public knows is that Bruce Rauner did not ask for George Sheldon’s resignation and does not think his hiring was a mistake. That is worrisome for future reform.
“Governor Rauner cannot simply wish away the crisis at the Department of Children and Family Services,” said DGA Illinois Communications Director Sam Salustro. “Governors lead by showing the public they are actively working to address issues, but Bruce Rauner has failed the leadership test by hiding from accountability. The public deserves an acknowledgement from Governor Rauner that his administration failed to protect children and a full accounting of past mistakes.”