Letter to the Editor: People who are passionate about children must come together to strategize about solutions

Department of Children and Family Services

It has been long understood in the healthcare and social service community in Quincy, and the stateline as a whole, that a crisis exists regarding the lack of placement options for our area’s troubled youths.

Some of these children have faced trauma as a result of abuse or neglect. Others have developed behavioral issues that have been precipitated by a myriad of underlying factors. Some of those issues have occurred after expulsion from various school systems.

But what happens to those children when they are detached from their homes and schools?  A cursory scan of the most recent violent crimes committed in Quincy, reveals that an alarming portion of those crimes involve young people from ages 12 to 25. 

Furthermore, a recent report from the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services stated from June 1, 2022, to June 30, 2023, 1,009 kids in DCFS care were kept in facilities such as psychiatric hospitals and detention centers longer than they needed to be. If we are serious about wanting to create a better future for our children, that should mean all of them, including those who suffer from challenging circumstances that are not of their design. 

I encourage people who are passionate about children to come together to strategize about solutions and not sound bites. The longer we wait, the more crimes will be committed, and the more children will be discarded like the morning trash. The time is now.

Mark C. Philpot
Chairman, Human Rights Commission
Quincy, Illinois

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