Senator; Bill; Brady
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Letter to Senator Brady
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October 5, 2010

Hon. Bill Brady

2203 Eastland Drive, Suite 3

Bloomington, IL 61704

Dear Senator Brady,

As the potential "father” to 18,718 children who are wards of the State of Illinois, you will be responsible for their care and safety as Governor of Illinois.

Due to comprehensive reform, a public-private partnership—led primarily by a private sector child welfare workforce—rescued the Illinois child welfare system from national disgrace in 1995 and catapulted it to national leadership by 2010.

In 1995, there were 53,000 Illinois abused and neglected children who had overwhelmed the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS). Today, there are 18,718 children in the state’s care, of whom, 87% are receiving care from the private sector. The reforms that began in 1995 continue through today. However, a child welfare system as large and as dynamic as ours can never rest on its laurels.

Neither can a Governor.

Gubernatorial leadership is essential to mobilize the resources of critical public and

private stakeholders to ensure that the safety of Illinois children continues to be a priority. A Governor can communicate a vision of shared responsibility for child safety and that begins with DCFS but, ultimately, engages the private sector that provides the bulk of the care.

As we intend to continue educating Illinois voters and our 25,000-strong private, statewide workforce on key child welfare public policy issues, we want to include your vision of the Illinois child welfare system and your role as the potential "father "to 18,718 wards of the state.

Help us in our education campaign of voters. We ask that you answer the four following questions, which would help to give shape to your vision of the child welfare system in Illinois:

1. What policies would your Administration implement to prevent child maltreatment and strengthen vulnerable families?

2. What policies would your Administration implement to ensure permanency for all children?

3. What policies would your Administration implement to support and protect the economic viability of the private sector child welfare workforce that provides 87% of care?

4. What policies would your Administration implement to maintain accountability for improving child outcomes?

The Illinois Governor makes critical decisions that have both short and long term consequences for the children in his care. That process requires that a governor have a vision. We would like to share your vision with the voters of Illinois. If you could return this questionnaire by October 15, 2010, we would appreciate it.

If you have any questions, please call me directly at: 312-819-1950.

Sincerely,

Margaret Berglind

President & CEO

Child Care Association of Illinois

www.cca-il.org

http://childcareillinois.wordpress.com/

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