How state cuts prompted Maryville's decision to close homes

  • Maryville officials say state funding cuts of $3.3 million over the past six years, and another $1.3 million proposed cut, led to their decision to close residential homes for boys in Des Plaines and for girls in Bartlett.

      Maryville officials say state funding cuts of $3.3 million over the past six years, and another $1.3 million proposed cut, led to their decision to close residential homes for boys in Des Plaines and for girls in Bartlett. Barbara Vitello | Staff Photographer, December 2015

 
 
Posted6/4/2016 5:40 AM

Maryville Academy's state funding for residential programs was slashed by $3.3 million over the past six years and the agency faced a looming $1.3 million cut -- grim numbers that led officials at the Des Plaines-based child care organization to decide this week to end those programs.

The nonprofit's finance office released the numbers days after it announced plans Tuesday to shutter residential treatment homes for teen boys in Des Plaines and teen girls in Bartlett, and a shelter for teen girls in Chicago.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

As the amount of funding received from the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services steadily declined, Maryville officials say they increasingly relied on private donations and their reserves to keep residential programs afloat.

Over the past decade, Maryville spent $33 million to operate the boys and girls homes, in addition to what it received from the state, officials said.

"With the additional cut, we said we can't sustain it," Sister Catherine Ryan, Maryville's executive director, said this week. "We can't keep making up the difference."

In 2010, Maryville received $12.7 million from DCFS to operate residential facilities -- what was considered a "high point," said Norm Joyce, Maryville's chief financial officer.

By last year, annual funding had dropped to $9.4 million, and it was proposed to drop to $8.1 million in the upcoming 2017 fiscal year, Joyce said.

The DCFS funds represent nearly half of Maryville's $20 million budget.

by signing up you agree to our terms of service
                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

The decision to further cut funds for residential programs is part of an overall shift by DCFS to place more kids in foster homes. Money that would have gone to residential care is being allocated to foster care programs instead.

Despite the ongoing state budget stalemate, Maryville and other child care organizations statewide have still been receiving DCFS funds due to a federal consent decree.

DCFS officials say they will work this summer to find new homes for youths still living at Maryville -- 29 teen boys in Des Plaines, 31 teen girls in Bartlett, and eight teen girls at the shelter in Chicago. Those numbers have declined over the years with the state policy shift.

Though Maryville has long been known for housing youths, in recent years it has started other community programs, including a crisis nursery, family behavioral health clinic, and Catholic Youth Organization athletic programs.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Other Maryville programs also receive government funds. Maryville's Children's Healthcare Center, 4015 N. Oak Park Ave. in Chicago, reported receiving $2.3 million from the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services in 2014 -- the year for which the most recent information is available.

Maryville's Jen School, a special education program for boys ages 5 to 21 in Des Plaines, got $2.8 million from local school districts that year.

In total, about 80 percent of Maryville's budget currently relies on government funds, Joyce said, but with the DCFS cut, that number is expected to go down to about two-thirds.

0 Comments
                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 
Article Comments ()
Guidelines: Keep it civil and on topic; no profanity, vulgarity, slurs or personal attacks. People who harass others or joke about tragedies will be blocked. If a comment violates these standards or our terms of service, click the X in the upper right corner of the comment box. To find our more, read our FAQ.