Concerns remain as Illinois prepares to switch DCFS youth to new healthcare program

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CHICAGO — There are major concerns as the State of Illinois prepares to switch youth from the Department of Children and Family Services into a new healthcare program. The Cook County public guardian says this move could leave thousands of kids without the help they need.

The switch was supposed to happen months ago but the COVID-19 crisis delayed it. Public guardian Charles Golbert said he has major concerns about this switch and said the state isn’t putting the kids first. He said the state is not ready to make the change.

He said the office parents don’t even know who the providers are or who they’re supposed to be.

His office tested the program by looking for a primary care doctor within 10 miles. They got 108 results but the results aren’t as good as they looks.

“Eight of those doctors were duplicate entries and that brought it down to 100,” Golbert said. “Out of a 100 , 93% told us they do not participate in the program or the doctor retired long ago or they moved long ago.”

As it stands, the switch will happen on Sept. 1.

Golbert said he’s fighting to put a stop to it. He wrote a letter to the governor urging that state officials slow down and not make the change until they are ready.

Golbert said if this switch happens, he fears thousands of kids will be dropped form care. He says that’s not a risk worth taking.

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