For 115 years, The Baby Fold has been adjusting its programs to meet the changing needs of our communities.
In this new budget year, we look forward to the expansion of our Hammitt School services and the benefit it will provide to our area communities. However, we are also saddened that we must discontinue our residential treatment services due to the state budget impasse. This program was downsized in 2015 from 28 beds to 14. It will discontinue on June 30, 2017.
The State of Illinois has neglected to invest what is necessary to pay providers who offer the specialized, intensive treatment required for children in residential care. Rates paid to The Baby Fold for these services have not increased in over 10 years. Even after the downsizing, The Baby Fold was forced to subsidize $1.6 million over the past two years to compensate for the lack of adequate State funding. Additionally, the budget impasse has created an atmosphere of uncertainty about the levels of funding that may be available for this type of programming in the future.
While the discontinuation of residential services will only impact 14 out of 1,000+ children and families served by The Baby Fold, every child is precious to us.
The Baby Fold will continue to advocate for children with the State. We understand that the well-being of children represents the future health and prosperity of Illinois and we look forward to serving children and families for the next 115 years.
The faith development needs of all of our children will continue to be addressed as requested in our foster and adoptive families. Our ministry continues! Our connection the people of The United Methodist Church is vital to our future. We are grateful for all the ways that our UM partners have sustained us from the beginning, and know that the church will stand with us during this difficult time of transition, and continue to walk with us as we continue to meet emerging needs of children and families throughout our conference.