Children Abandoned in Illinois;
Carmi, Ill. –

Children’s advocacy centers across Illinois received bad news Thursday, said Sheryl Woodham, executive director of The Guardian Center, based

http://www.carmitimes.com/news/x986610407/State-officials-choose-to-cut-children

A fax indicated that, on July 1, the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services would execute a plan to no longer honor or renew contracts with children’s advocacy centers.

Difficult choices must be made to create a fiscally responsible budget for Illinois, Woodham said. “However, this severe loss of funding is resulting in a blatant disservice to the children of Illinois.”

Here is the balance of her statement:

“Children’s advocacy centers of Illinois exist for the sole purpose of protecting our abused children. With 38 offices serving 85 of the 102 counties of Illinois, CACs reached out to help over 11,220 children last year alone.

“CACs provide a multidisciplinary approach and services to sexually abused children and their families. Annual funding for these necessary services comes PRIMARILY from the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services. This tremendous loss of funding will force our local children advocacy centers to eliminate services, staff and may result in CACs closing their doors.

“Where will these children now go? What safe haven will be available to help children who have experienced the raw pain and hurt of child abuse?

“What a terrible decision for the state to make. These cuts were made under the auspice of saving money for the state. These cuts will COST the state, not save! Children’s advocacy centers save their communities money every day!

“A CAC provides a SAVINGS of over $1,000 per case compared to non-CAC investigations. Last year alone, CACs saved the State of Illinois over $11 million. In less than 20 days, all this will change due to this tremendous cut. The State of Illinois is choosing to cut a service that clearly SAVES state money.

“CACs exist to offer guidance, support and relief to children and their families. The State of Illinois needs to understand the seriousness of this miscalculated budget choice. Children need security and support. The drastic cuts by the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services will prohibit the CACs from assisting in the protection and support of our children. This is not an acceptable answer. The State of Illinois must find a way to protect our children.

“CACs save taxpayers money, decrease trauma for child victims by providing a child-friendly environment and ensure that the child receives comprehensives services to begin the healing process

“1 out of 3. 1 out of 6. These statistics represent how many girls and boys will be sexually abused or assaulted by the age of 18. 1 out of every 3 girls. Think of neighbors, sisters, cousins and daughters. 1 out of every six boys. Think of friends, brothers, nephews and sons. Who will protect them?

“Stand up and protect our children today. We must speak for those in our lives with the softest voices and greatest needs.”

Postscript;

As each state battles with its own deficit, legislators must decide whether to complete the new ballpark, or fund child protection.

My argument for child protection of course, is that healthy children make healthy adults and good citizens;  or as Pliny stated 2500 years ago, “what you do to your children, they will do to your society”

Support at risk children, start a KARA group in your community.

MN day care

It is a bigger step to convince people that healthy children become healthy citizens, but it is true.

4 Comments

  1. From the national FY 2010 Budget:
    Among other things, the budget would:

    * “Eliminate the two major sources of discretionary money at the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) – Part E Demonstration Projects, funded at $82 million this year, and the discretionary portion of the Byrne Discretionary and Competitive Grants. The Byrne grants would go from $208 million to $30 million, with none of it slated as discretionary.

    One apparent reason: Although the funds can be awarded through competitive bids, Congress has increasingly eaten up the money in earmarks. Almost all of the Part E money announced for this year was taken by earmarks, as this report explains.”

    From Gov. Pat Quinn: http://www.broadband.illinois.gov
    “We’re going to work together so that no home, business, school, or hospital in our state IS LEFT BEHIND. I look forward to hearing about your projects, and supporting your efforts to position Illinois as the epicenter of America’s broadband revival.”

    There it is; earmarks on the national level and dedication to “broadband revival” on the state level. Does anyone else see a prioritizing problem? The state of Illinois, among others, was directly affected by the misuse of the Byrne Discretionary and Competitive Grants. It would seem that technology improvements are more important than the safety of abused children. How is it that this incredibly irresponsible allocation of funds is allowed?

  2. Perhaps, people should think about the consequences of having a child BEFORE they do so. If they are not able to properly raise, confort, educate, provide for, cultivate, foster, encourage, challenge and love the people they are going to create – they should not do so. It’s pretty darn easy to not create a life – if one is not an animal. Pretty simple – if you conjugate, you create. I don’t believe in abortion at all. However, I also believe it is possible to keep from creating life and still enjoy a satisfying committed loving sexual relationship with a partner.
    It seems the situation from which the highest numbers of negative consequences for children occurs is within a self-sustaining cycle of poverty, hopelessness and very limited choices.

    I don’t believe in supporting any such system. Just as in our global environmental system – there are limits to the sustainability of any system. Whether we are speaking of bacteria, panda bears or human beings – the environmental economy can only support a limited amount of neglect and abuse before resources which “must” be consumed to support behavior with negative effects (the overwhelming population growth of people who do not have adequate resources of time, finances and stability to provide an optimal growth environment for healthy offspring) reaches a point when it becomes obvious that the overarching system is in danger because of the abuse. It’s great to point fingers at ‘the system’ – however, we might all benfit if everyone kept their pants on until they are SURE they can be committed to the life they are sure to bring about.

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