The Chicago Sun-Times spoke with ACLU of Illinois associate legal director Ben Wolf about the Governor's plans for spending cuts, which leaked ahead of his inaugural budget address. The proposed cuts to funding for the Department of Child and Family Services (DCFS) would end services to former foster children over 18. The ACLU has been representing children under DCFS' care for decades under a consent decree designed to keep the agency committed to a standard of care to ensure quality services for foster children in DCFS custody. Just this week, the ACLU has asked a federal judge to jump-start reforms at the agency as a result of ongoing problems in order to bring DCFS back into compliance.
Regarding the Governor's proposed budget cuts, Ben Wolf told the Chicago Sun-Times:
“For us to essentially throw them out on the street at age 18, if that’s what the governor is going to propose, is just plain cruel,” said Benjamin Wolf, associate legal director of the ACLU of Illinois. “If you want to increase homelessness and suffering, abandoning them at age 18 is a good place to start.”