Chaddock makes tough choice due to Ill. budget crisis

Illinois' budget crisis is causing hardships for yet another Tri-State social service agency.

It's been almost nine months since Chaddock has received a state reimbursement from the Illinois Department of Human Services.

The department owes Chaddock $371 thousand dollars for services given to seven students in the state's Individual Care Grant Program, which provides funding to families with children with special emotional issues.

That money is being held up in the State Comptroller's (pronounced controller's) office due to the state's money issues.

Right now, Chaddock is working with DHS and local legislators to expedite these payments to help keep the students at the school.

But Chaddock has had to inform parents of those seven students they may have to find an alternate service agency to help their children.

Chaddock President and CEO Debbie Reed says this isn't a new problem.

The funding delay already has prevented Chaddock from filling some open positions and making some capital improvements.

How frustrating is it to deal with these setbacks in payments?

Debbie Reed, Chaddock President and CEO, said, "It's a challenge to our organization. We serve many children in a lot of different programs and when one funding stream is so delinquent in making payments, it starts to affect all children on campus. That's forcing us to make hard decisions, but ones I think are best for the largest number of children."

It's important to note, Chaddock is *not* closing or downsizing any of its current programs or services.

Reed tells KHQA Chaddock has relied on other funding sources, like reimbursements from the Department of Children and Family Services and the Illinois State Board of Education, to get through the funding crunch.

She says those sources tend to make payments more regularly, although they also are late in coming from the state comptroller's office.