Hearing set for Tuesday showdown
By Chinta Strausberg
Illinois State Senator Donne Trotter (D-17th) Friday denounced the slashing of funds for the embattled DCFS saying it will have a negative impact especially on minorities and will make it even more difficult for already overburden case workers to do their jobs. Â
Referring to the Illinois Senate hearing being held at 1 p.m. on Tuesday, October 2, 2012, in Room C-600 in the Michael A. Bilandic Building, 160 N. LaSalle St., Trotter said besides discussing the closure of Dr. Car. C. Bellâ€™s 37-year-old mental health facility, lawmakers will also talk about the lack of funding for DCFS.
The hearing is being called by Majority Caucus Whip Senator Mattie Hunter (D-3rd), chairman of the Senate Human Services Committee.
Â â€œThe state has cut the funding for DCFS along with so many other essential programs like Dr. Carl Bellâ€™s mental health program that impact minorities and disadvantage populations disproportionately,â€ said Senator Trotter.
â€œThe state is going to start laying off DCFS workers and at a time when there arenâ€™t enough frontline workers in the first place. We read every day that a child goes to the hospital with old bruises, and the question always comes up why is this child still with the family?
â€œBut because of the overwhelming caseloads we have, DCFS workers canâ€™t follow up on these cases. Â Itâ€™s hard for them to do their jobs because they are so overloaded so by laying them off, it will only make their jobs even harder,â€ Trotter pointed out.
â€œThe Governor wants to take the $57 million earmarked for keeping the prisons open to go to DCFS, but everyone knows that $57 million is not half the amount needed to get DCFS running effectively.
â€œThroughout the years, we have been under federal scrutiny to correct the deficiencies in our DCFS division and we finally did. Now they are dismantling it all over again,â€ said Trotter.
â€œThis DCFS issue deserves its own hearing but because of the urgency of the imminent DCFS pending layoffs, the discussion needs to begin now, not later.â€
Kim Schultz, who works with the Policy and Budget staff, told this writer public comments would be accepted via e-mail. Written testimonies and remarks can be sent to her at: email@example.com, or the public can attend the hearing which begins at 1 p.m., Tuesday, October 2, 2012, 160 North LaSalle in Room C-600.
Chinta Strausberg is a Journalist of more than 33-years, a former political reporter and a current PCC Network talk show host. You can e-mail Strausberg at: Chintabernie@aol.com.