Defending the Defenseless

24 Jun

Many states are facing a severe lack of cash.  All states are required to balance their budgets.  IL is proposing to  cut $460.4 million from the budget.  Guess which departments are facing the biggest cuts?

If you guessed:

  • Dept of Human Service
  • Dept of Children & Family Services
  • Dept of Aging
  • Dept of Public Health
  • Student Assistance

You win!   And thousands of children, elderly, & disabled people lose.

All of these departments are vitally important.  My life has been most impacted by foster care so that is what I’d like to concentrate on today.  Jason & I have family & friends that have either made foster care their career or have dedicated their lives to fostering kids.  Foster parents are some of the most generous, giving, caring, & selfless people I know.  It is not easy to take in a hurting child.  Yet they do it with grace, because they see a need & know they can fill it.  Our friends & family take ‘the least of these’ & make them the most.

Isn’t that why we are here?  To defend the defenseless?  To protect the unprotected?  To support the unsupported?

This is what we need to defend IL foster kids from:

  • Elimination of all counseling services and psychological assessments;
  • Elimination of all Child Advocacy Centers
  • Elimination of all after-school tutoring, job preparation and mentoring for youths
  • Eventually, the child-to-caseworker ratio also would increase from 15:1 to a whopping 50:1 (violating federal mandates of a max of 25:1).
  • Payments that foster parents receive to care for the children would be cut in half.
  • Elimination of foster parent training (if they could get anyone who would still want to be a foster parent, knowing they will have to cover almost all of their foster child’s expenses, including daycare).

If you live in IL, will you please join me in contacting your state Legislators & the Governor?  Tell them they cannot balance the budget on the backs of these children.  Let them know that just because the children, elderly, & disabled don’t have a voice, doesn’t mean we won’t use ours!

You can find your Legislator here, as well as the governor.

You can find more info on the governor’s webpage & an op ed piece from the Chicago Tribune.

K~

*This  post is not open for debate about big gov’t & why should we be supporting kids from women who won’t take care of them.  These kids didn’t ask for this.  It stinks that we have to foot the bill; but I know I’d rather foot the bill for a 5year old’s counseling & monthly care than for his penal servitude.

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6 Responses to “Defending the Defenseless”

  1. Emily June 24, 2009 at 4:46 pm #

    That is just cruel and unusual punishment. Why don’t they cut their paycheck by a 1/4 or 1/3 that might help too. Don’t take it where it is needed.

  2. Cheryn Ramos June 24, 2009 at 9:32 pm #

    Thank you for your support! I hope that this helps raise awareness of the ignorance in our state legislation right now. I would like for them to try to explain this to my foster sons.

  3. Julia June 24, 2009 at 10:17 pm #

    Thank you Kristen! I could not have said it better myself! Sorry I could not give you the scoop earlier but everything in your blog is true! The whole political machine makes me sick and I don’t know how they expect any of these children to survive this mess. The best news I heard today was that the Public Guardian in Cook County is suing the Governor and DCFS for cutting all counseling contracts. Not some but all for the entire state. . I literally do not know what to say to people these days! I hope and pray something is done soon…the fallout is almost too much to think about!

  4. Stephanie Sellers June 25, 2009 at 11:36 am #

    Kristen,

    I just called Sullivan’s office, the Governor’s office and begged them to RAISE MY TAXES. To live in a civilized society means to pay our fair share in taxes and help those who can’t help themselves.

  5. Erin Stegall June 29, 2009 at 5:41 pm #

    Kristin,
    I have three nephews whose support is in jeapordy as they get assistance from the state (well their parents do). So, the OT, PT, Speech therapy that they need to help them due to their disabilities is also on the chopping block. It is so unfair…I have written “my congresspeople” hoping that it will help!

    Thanks for your blog!

    Your lurker,
    Erin

  6. sonya gray key July 1, 2009 at 2:26 pm #

    I’m SO delayed in posting this, but THANKS to you for remembering & posting what true Jesus following looks like in today’s world. “the least” of us are forgotten so often & I believe it is our calling to remember them. Thanks again, K. Keep on the soapbox, you are so right on. –s

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