Earlier today, Illinois Governor JB Pritzker announced that his administration is launching an assessment of needs for those seeking health and mental health care from state agencies, an assessment that also will contemplate how Illinois can better coordinate this care.  The following that can be attributed to Heidi Dalenberg, Managing Legal Director for the ACLU of Illinois:

The interagency initiative to assess needs for children and families across Illinois – announced by Governor Pritzker today – is a hopeful sign for thousands across our state. For decades, Illinoisans who need care from one or more state agencies have been badly underserved because no single agency took responsibility for assessing what services were actually needed, how an adequate service array could be developed, or how to improve accessibility for struggling families.  The evaluation Governor Pritzker envisions presents an opportunity to accomplish all of those essential goals. 

We know, firsthand, that our clients under the care of DCFS often require, but cannot access, care for serious mental and behavioral health issues. The need for such care often extends into adulthood. There simply must be an easy, deliberate way for care to be provided when needed, and then continued whether someone is being provided such care by DCFS or any other agency. We call on all agencies to be cooperative and collaborative in this study process, and then work to build a seamless continuum of care for those in need in Illinois. This is long overdue. Let’s get this right.