State Senator Trotter denounces cuts in DCFS funding

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.  

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. Bell’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.

 “The state has cut the funding for DCFS along with so many other essential programs like Dr. Carl Bell’s mental health program that impact minorities and disadvantage populations disproportionately,” said Senator Trotter.

“The state is going to start laying off DCFS workers and at a time when there aren’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?

“But because of the overwhelming caseloads we have, DCFS workers can’t follow up on these cases.  It’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,” Trotter pointed out.

“The 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.

“Throughout 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,” said Trotter.

“This 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.”

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: kschultz@senatedem.ilga.gov, 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.