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November 29, 1999

First Lady Lura Lynn Ryan Announces $4.5 Million In Additional Funding For Healthy Families Illinois Program

CHICAGO -- Illinois First Lady Lura Lynn Ryan today announced $4.5 million in additional funding for Healthy Families Illinois to prevent child abuse and neglect through home visits to families at risk.

The Duncan YMCA, where Mrs. Ryan made the announcement, is sharing a $30,000 HFI funding increase to the YMCA of Metropolitan Chicago. "Healthy Families is teaching mothers and fathers to realize the potential that is in all of us - to unconditionally love our children and raise them in an environment that will allow them to blossom," said Mrs. Ryan.

HFI is a program of the Illinois Department of Human Services. The additional $4.5 million statewide increases the FY 2000 budget for Healthy Families Illinois to $8 million and has allowed the program to add 18 new sites, for a total of 46 sites.

A recent DHS report shows that since its inception in 1997, HFI has made a difference in the lives of the families it serves. "In FY98, Healthy Families Illinois served 532 families and recorded just eight instances of child abuse or neglect," said DHS Secretary Howard A. Peters III. "This is nearly identical to the rate in the general population, which means we are on the right track. What's even better is that the program keeps growing as more families request our help. We expect to serve 3,200 families during the current fiscal year."

Healthy Families Illinois emphasizes a personal touch. Trained staff regularly visit new parents at home to provide individualized guidance about parenting and child development. The program is based on Healthy Families America, a well-established initiative implemented by Prevent Child Abuse America. Thirty-eight states and the District of Columbia now operate programs modeled on Healthy Families America.

In Illinois, the program serves families that are at risk for child abuse or neglect based on a list of factors such as abuse, mental illness, low self-esteem and psycho-social stress. Program grantees who serve these families must meet 11 state-specified program criteria including staff training and qualification, a commitment to provide intensive services and the use of community-based program design and individual plans of care.

The department works with many partners to administer Healthy Families Illinois. The Ounce of Prevention Fund, which operates six HFI programs, also hosts a training institute for home visitors and helps to oversee HFI grants. Voices for Illinois Children and Prevent Child Abuse Illinois belong to a group that helps develop and review grant proposals. Also, Northern Illinois University has contracted with DHS to do a statewide evaluation of HFI that will study 800 families.

This effort is based on more than 20 years of research showing that parents who receive ongoing education and support are less likely to abuse or neglect their children. The need for these services is critical; as of October 1999, there were 36,078 Illinois children in foster or substitute care.


Chicago Department of Health, Chicago


Chicago Urban League, Chicago*


Erie Family Health Center, Chicago*


Harris YWCA, Chicago**


Healthcare Alternative Systems, Chicago*


Healthy Families Chicago, Chicago*


Healthy Families Chicago, Chicago


Henry Booth House, Chicago*


Howard Area Community Center, Chicago*


Latino Youth, Chicago**


Metropolitan Family Services, Chicago


Metropolitan Family Services, Chicago


Near North Health Services Corp., Chicago*


YMCA of Metropolitan Chicago, Chicago*



Cook County Department of Public Health, Oak Park*


Cook County Department of Public Health, Oak Park


Shelter, Inc., Arlington Heights*



Central Baptist Family Services, LakeVilla*


Children's Development Center, Rockford***


DuPage County Health Department, Wheaton


Greater DuPage MYM, Inc., Glen Ellyn*


Kankakee Community College, Kankakee***


Las Vos Latina, Rockford**


Lifelink, Inc., Bensenville


McHenry County Health Department, Woodstock


Sinnissippi Centers, Dixon


Stephenson County Health Department, Freeport


Visiting Nurse Association of Fox Valley, Aurora*


Visiting Nurse Association of Fox Valley, Aurora*


Will County Health Department*



Child Abuse Council, Rock Island*


Children's Foundation, Bloomington*


Children's Home, Peoria***


Ford-Iroquois Public Health Department, Watseka


Henry County Health Department, Kewanee


Livingston County Health Department*


Provina Behavioral Health, Champaign*


Vermilion County Health Dept., Danville*



Family Service Agency of Adams County, Quincy


Family Service Center of Sangamon County, Springfield***


Macon County Health Department, Decatur


Macoupin County Health Department, Carlinville*



Chestnut Health Systems, Granite City


Clay County Health Department*


Community Health and Emergency Services, Inc., Cairo


Fayette County Health Department, Vandalia


Lessie Bates Davis Neighborhood House, East St. Louis


Shawnee Health Service and Development Corp., Carbondale*


HFI TRAINING INSTITUTE - Ounce of Prevention, Chicago*


Management Information System & MIS Training


IDHS Program Support and Quality Enhancement


OPF Program Support and Quality Enhancement


HFI Grand Total


New Award
*Expansion of FY'99 program
** Ounce of Prevention Fund, new program
*** Ounce of Prevention Fund, expansion of FY'99 program


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