Lutheran Child and Family Services of Illinois announces restructuring plan
- May 15, 2017
Lutheran Child and Family Services of Illinois announced program closures and staff cuts that will help the organization to better meet its ongoing mission. As part of a thorough organizational review following several years of financial challenges and changing needs, they have made the difficult decision to restructure to ensure continued viability.
“Since assuming the position of CEO on January 1st, I have focused on ensuring that we fulfill our mission while looking to plan for the long-term financial stability of the organization,” stated LCFS President and CEO Mike Bertrand. “We engaged in a thorough analysis and have created a plan for a financial turnaround of LCFS.”
In consultation with LCFS’ Board of Trustees and an independent advisor, LCFS developed plans to restructure its services and shore up resources to align the organization with future needs of children and families in the state. During this process, LCFS considered how to minimize negative impacts by exploring options to move programs to other community organizations, seek private funding, expand partnerships and renegotiate service contracts. They based decisions on what programs to close on both financial viability and alignment with LCFS’ core mission and values.
“The social services landscape is ever changing as have the needs and challenges of abused and neglected children and their families,” said LCFS Vice President and Chief Program Officer Beverly Jones. “LCFS saw the need to refocus and strengthen our work while remaining true to our mission.”
Nine programs are closing and about 100 positions will be eliminated (25 percent of LCFS’ total staff). Impacted programs and communities are listed below. While the timing to wind-down each program depends on several factors, including how to minimize client disruption and coordinate with various stakeholders, LCFS expects to complete the phase out by the end of June.
“This has been an agonizing decision, particularly due to the impact on our clients and their families, as well as our employees whose jobs were eliminated,” explained Mike Bertrand. “We are refocusing our mission to what we as an agency are best at, which is serving traumatized children and their families as a child-welfare organization.”
LCFS’ current financial challenges resulted from trying to meet the needs of too many diverse groups, which overburdened the organization with trying to find necessary long-term funding needed to sustain those disparate services. In addition, payments from the State of Illinois for core programs such as youth residential services, no longer cover the cost of providing quality services to traumatized children and families. Over the years, LCFS sought private dollars to cover stagnant rates for services that did not keep up with rising cost of providing services.
LCFS is grateful for the support of donors, partner agencies and other stakeholders over the years and hopes to continue to partner with them in providing impactful and values-driven service for the betterment of those it will continue to serve. Moving forward, LCFS is positioned to continue its statewide reach, but with a renewed focus on core programs– foster care, adoption, counseling, Southern Thirty Adolescent Center, Camp Wartburg and preventative services such as intact family services and extended family support.
“LCFS has been around for nearly 145 years. We have demonstrated our ability to re-invent ourselves many times over those years, staying true to our core of caring for children and families in need,” stated Mike Bertrand. “We are a resilient organization. We will again demonstrate our ability to thrive versus merely sustain, so that ultimately, we can better serve those in need.”
About Lutheran Child and Family Services of Illinois
Founded in 1873, Lutheran Child and Family Services of Illinois (LCFS) is a statewide, non-profit social service agency that improves the well-being of people by nurturing and protecting children, strengthening families and enhancing communities. LCFS serves children, individuals, families and communities of all faiths, races, orientations and ethnic backgrounds. For more information, visit www.LCFS.org or www.facebook.com/LCFSIL or call 800-363-LCFS.
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