Illinois Is Making Life Harder for Over 16,000 Children in Foster Care

Illinois’ child welfare system is a broken mess. With so many children* suffering in foster care, there is an incredible need for more foster care families, more caregivers, and more foster care workers. And because this bankrupt state does not have the resources to do it all, there is tremendous need for other private entities and charities to help fill in the gaps. When these needs remain unmet, the children suffer most.

But rather than push for an all hands on deck approach, the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) has recently adopted a policy to exclude the help of anyone that is not willing to abide by and affirm the Department’s radical commitment to an LGBTQ-affirming political agenda. In its own words, the Department “will not tolerate exposing LGBTQ children and youth to staff/service providers who are not supportive of children and youths’ right to self-determination of sexual/gender identity.” The statement comes down to belief, regardless of what you might actually teach with respect to any child. That is, the child you are fostering may not feel confused about his or her gender or think that he or she was born into the wrong body, yet you must still make this affirmation that you believe the progressive views on sexuality even though it will not affect the way you treat that child. You must demonstrate that you agree with the policy even though it is not relevant to the child in your care. What’s next? A rule excluding anyone who does not accept the full panoply of Global Warming Hysteria, or who believes that a $15.00 minimum wage is bad for low skill workers? After all, teaching children this kind of stuff might interfere with their indoctrination plans.

In short, unless you are willing to deny biological facts about human gender, remain quiet about your religious convictions, ignore the increased mortality among LGBTQ identified individuals, and refrain from making any effort “to direct or guide” a child “to any specific outcome for their exploration”—then you need not apply to be a foster care parent, worker, or volunteer in Illinois. And if you are already serving foster children in some capacity, you may not be any longer unless you toe the line. It does not matter to DCFS that these policies will make it significantly harder for children to find homes and the help that they need. Politics are more important than people in this state. And as the state continues to careen towards both fiscal and moral bankruptcy, it will be the children who suffer most.

*16,780 child/youth caseloads in Illinois as of May 2017 (page 16)

The DCFS policy: Support and Well-Being of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Questioning (LGBTQ) Children and Youth (page 97-113)