Defying the Odds

Nafesia Jewell Foundation – Aging out and bridging the gap

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I have this crazy dream that …

Bridging the gap between existing Non-Profit organizations in Illinois and Nationwide collectively implementing career based, independent living facilities for 18 year old young adults aging out of the foster care system.

Gov. Bruce Rauner has called for a 12.5 percent reduction to the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services budget in his FY2016 budget, his first since being elected. If approved, an estimated 2,400 state wards who are eligbible to receive extended foster care services for ages 18 to 21 will be cut loose.

Cut Loose?  Just like that.  So what happens to the estimated 24o0 18 yr olds that have survived not only the abuse that inserted them into the Department of Children and Family Services but the mental, physical, and emotional abuse endured while a ward of the state.   With no family, no longer cared for by the state, no career skills, under developed educationally, what happens to  them?  Back on the street perhaps?

If this were going on for the past 30 years, could it be that the violent crisis in Chicago may be directly related to the DCFS?   That’s something to think about.

Let’s look at some facts reported during an investigation by  the Chicago Tribune:

  • 11 youths killed while in the Department of Children and Family Services’ care during a two-year period through June 30, 2015, and examined by its Office of Inspector General. The sad trend is continuing, officials said, with at least seven more teenage wards slain since Jan. 1. That’s about double compared with most years and mirrors the larger trend of widespread violence plaguing the city.
  • In residential treatment centers across Illinois, children are assaulted, sexually abused and running away by the thousands — yet state officials fail to act on reports of harm and continue sending waves of youths to the most troubled and violent facilities.
  • 29,425 incidents when a ward ran away or went missing. That is an average of nearly 27  runaway reports a day among wards in Illinois facilities.

If you are a active Non-Profit organization with a focus in foster care, reunification of families or independent Living facilities and you are in the Chicago or surrounding areas, please email me at I’d love to here from you.


1 Comment

  1. Bablofil

    January 12, 2017 at 6:38 pm

    Thanks, great article.


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