ICOY lobbies for needs of underserved youth in Illinois

Publisher: ICOY Staff

woman raising hand in class

Front Line Child Welfare and Youth Service Organizations to Educate Lawmakers on Challenges of Protecting At-Risk Youth

SPRINGFIELD (FEBRUARY, 26 2020) – More than a dozen Member Organizations of Illinois’ largest Child Provider Voice –  The Illinois Collaboration on Youth (ICOY) – will spend Wednesday, February 26th talking to lawmakers about the importance of Governor J.B. Pritzker’s proposed budget increase for the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) and the challenges that remain to better protect Illinois’ most vulnerable children.   

“The renewed commitment by Governor Pritzker and lawmakers on both sides of the isle are important first steps to restoring what used to be a model child welfare system in America.  The General Assembly and Governor deserve credit for what they are doing, but we have a long way to go if we truly want to protect the children of this state,” said ICOY CEO Andrea Durbin.

Member organizations serving children and youth from across the state will be available at tables set up in the Capitol Rotunda starting at 8:30 a.m.

Organizations representing children from Chicago and the suburbs in northern Illinois, Bloomington, Champaign and Springfield in central Illinois to Carterville and Belleville in Southern Illinois and the metro-east will be talking with lawmakers and the public about the important work they do to keep Illinois’ at-risk youth safe and the challenges they face.

Today, more than 18,500 Illinois children are in state care after being removed from their homes and thousands more are receiving supportive services. 

The Governor’s own budget projection indicates the trend in caseloads is rising with DCFS projecting that 22,000 children will be in state care at the end of FY21, with another 4,400 receiving intact family services.

About the Illinois Collaboration on Youth

The Illinois Collaboration on Youth (ICOY) is the largest child provider voice in Illinois and promotes the safety, health, and success of Illinois’ children, youth, and families by acting as a collective voice for policy and practice, and by connecting and strengthening the organizations that serve them.