- Associated Press - Wednesday, June 1, 2016

DES PLAINES, Ill. (AP) - Maryville Academy has decided to stop taking in children at its two suburban Chicago campuses and its city-based shelter amid a looming state funding cut to residential and institutional aid.

Officials with the child care organization said Tuesday it will no longer serve as a home for youths when its residential care contract with the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services ends June 30.

The decision affects 29 teen boys living at the Des Plaines campus, 31 teen girls living at the Bartlett campus and eight teen girls at the Chicago shelter. The teens, almost all of whom are wards of the state, will be placed into new residences this summer.

In a letter sent to donors Tuesday, Maryville Academy Executive Director Sister Catherine M. Ryan said the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services is cutting the amount of money that it allocates for residential care.

“This has become a financial burden we can no longer sustain if we are to continue serving Illinois’ at-risk children,” she said in the letter.

Illinois Department of Children and Family Services Chief of Staff Neil Skene said Maryville Academy decided to end its residential program on its own. She also said the state hopes to continue working with the organization.

“We have always valued the relationship with Maryville. We are, in fact, talking with them about a different program that we’d like to create there,” Skene said.

Maryville Academy, which began as an orphanage in 1883, will continue to offer health care and mental health services, family support services and youth development programs.

“It’s important people know Maryville is not closing,” Ryan said. “We are continuing, but it’s going to be with a different emphasis because of the needs of today.”

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