- The Washington Times - Tuesday, April 17, 2007

CHICAGO (AP) — Catholic Charities is closing one of Illinois’ largest foster care programs in less than three months, leaving the state and other agencies to quickly absorb its Chicago area caseload of more than 900 children.

The federal and state money that went to Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Chicago will be redistributed to agencies that take over the program’s cases. State welfare officials will work to ensure that children remain with their current foster parents, said Kendall Marlowe, a spokesman for the Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS).

“While the foster home and the supervision of the case are transferred to a new agency, children can remain in the same homes,” he said yesterday. “It’s just that the home will now be supervised by a new private agency or DCFS directly.”

Catholic Charities said the decision was made after a $12 million lawsuit payment caused the agency’s insurer to drop its coverage. The 2001 lawsuit charged that foster parents licensed by the agency had abused three children who were placed in 1995, according to plaintiffs’ attorney Christopher Hurley. The lawsuit was settled last year.

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