Catholic Charities in Illinois will no longer provide foster care services, the Chicago Tribune reports. The diocese in the remaining areas of Joliet, Springfield and Belleville, where a decision to end foster services had yet to be made, have dropped their lawsuit against the Department of Child and Family Services (DCFS) and will begin to transfer over 1,000 foster children to other programs in their regions. The ACLU of Illinois intervened in the suit on behalf of children in the care of DCFS as well as a Champaign lesbian couple with a civil union, who planned to become foster parents. This decision marks an end to a battle that began once Illinois' civil union law went into effect in the spring.
In July, the state declined to renew foster care and adoption contracts with Catholic Charities. A transition plan for more than 2,000 children began with a deadline of Nov. 30.
Ottawa-based Youth Service Bureau of Illinois Valley agreed to take all of Catholic Charities' cases in Rockford. In Peoria, a separate child welfare agency was formed to take all of Catholic Charities' cases and provide a seamless transition for children.
With a deadline looming and no judge willing to halt the transition process, the remaining three agencies decided to call it quits.