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Jeudi 22 Octobre 2020

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Under New Law, Parents Of Justice-Involved Children Don’t Have To Trade Custody For Treatment

Thursday 25th of July 2019 | Amerique du Nord, États-Unis
Peoria Public Radio
Nouvelle

A new Illinois law aims to ensure that parents of justice-involved youth who need costly mental health services don’t have to trade custody for treatment for their child.

Cook County Public Guardian Charles Golbert advocated for this change to the Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities Administrative Act.

In the past, Golbert said, if a child or teen got arrested and it was found what they really needed was mental health treatment, “the delinquency judge would have to adjudicate the child a ward of DCFS and then that could be paid for, otherwise the parents would have to pay out of pocket.”

That meant if parents couldn’t afford the roughly $100,000 a year for residential treatment, they had to choose: keep custody but forgo mental health services and risk the child entering juvenile detention, or give up custody to the Department of Children and Family Services and get them into treatment.

“It's just really unfair Sophie's choice type of thing that no family should ever be in,” Golbert said. “It's bad for the parents, the families, it's certainly bad for the child. It's bad for society because DCFS has enough to deal with (with) actual legitimate cases that need to be in their custody.”

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