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Record #: R2018-842   
Type: Resolution Status: Failed to Pass
Intro date: 7/23/2018 Current Controlling Legislative Body: Committee on Finance
Final action:
Title: Call for hearing(s) to address City licensing of child welfare agencies, including oversight of funding disbursed to Heartland Alliance
Sponsors: Burke, Edward M., Solis, Daniel, Reboyras, Ariel
Attachments: 1. R2018-842.pdf, 2. R2018-842 (V1).pdf
Related files: R2019-362

WHEREAS, it is now widely known that Chicago is at least a temporary home to children who have been forcibly separated from their parents at the U.S. and Mexico border and placed in shelters by federal authorities; and

WHEREAS, news reports of distressing abuse and mistreatment allegations at a state-licensed Chicago shelter have brought into focus the duties and responsibilities that the City has to protect the health, safety, and welfare of these children; and

WHEREAS, shelter conditions have come to the forefront of public awareness in the aftermath of a "'zero tolerance-" federal immigration policy that led to the separation of 2,000 migrant children from their parents over a six-week period between April 18 and May 31, 2018; and

WHEREAS, although a federal judge has since ordered reunifications by specific deadlines, these have not been met and the order does not eliminate the long-standing existence of these shelters for unaccompanied migrant children; and

WHEREAS, since 2003, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has awarded nearly $5 billion in grants through the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR), mostly to religious and nonprofit organizations in eighteen (18) states, to house children who arrive in the country unaccompanied; and

WHEREAS, ORR affiliated shelters are not designed for long-term residency, they are meant to serve as intermediaries, usually placing children with a parent, a close family member, a family friend, or, in rare cases, in a foster home within a month and typically provide an array of social services, such as education, food, clothing, and mental health sendees; and

WHEREAS, Heartland Alliance, an Illinois-licensed child welfare agency, is under contract with ORR as the sole provider of these services in the City of Chicago, serving seventy-three (73) children recently separated from their parents at the border; and

WHEREAS, recently United States Senator Richard Durbin urged HHS*s Office of the ...

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