ECFA Foster Care Program Comes to Close

Dear Friends of ECFA:

ECFA has been going through a challenging time since the creation and subsequent implementation of the Illinois Religious Freedom Protection and Civil Union Act. For several months, ECFA’s Board of Directors has been working with the help of Alliance Defense Fund to maintain our status of providing foster care services.

Unfortunately, those efforts have not been successful.

On September 8, 2011, we received a letter from Illinois Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) stating that DCFS had made the decision not to renew ECFA’s Foster Care contracts for this fiscal year due to what they believe is our unwillingness to comply with the Act. While we disagree with DCFS’s interpretation of the Civil Union Act and believe that ECFA is in compliance with all federal and state laws, we understand that it is at their discretion to provide us with a contract. What this means for ECFA is that we will be required to transfer all of our DCFS foster care cases to other agencies.

The mission and vision of ECFA remains the same. We will continue to provide caring, compassionate services to the clients in the Adoption, Counseling, Intact Family Services, Pregnancy Support, and Safe Families programs. We will also maintain our status as a licensed Child Welfare Agency in the state of Illinois, and accredited by the Council on Accreditation for Children and Family Services.

We are thankful for the prayers and words of encouragement from many of our supporters and friends. It is also encouraging to reflect upon God’s word in Romans 8:28, “In all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.” Please continue to pray for our staff, the children that we serve, and the families who care for them as they adjust to this transition in their lives.

-ECFA Staff


About Evangelical Child & Family Agency

Adoption, Safe Families, Intact Family Services, Counseling, Pregnancy, Birthparents, Adoptive Parents

4 comments on “ECFA Foster Care Program Comes to Close

  1. I am so sad I hardly know what to say. The agency has played a significant part of my life: I used to be a caseworker, my husband and I have been working on foster care licensure through the agency, and now I am seeing kids from ECFA’s foster care program as therapy clients. All of this is now disrupted. My prayers continue for all of those affected by this event.
    Blessings for the future-
    Julie Walden

  2. I am absolutely heartsick about this news, and I want you all to know that you are in my thoughts and prayers. Being part of the foster care program between 1991-2003 was such a significant and uplifting part of my life. Not only did I benefit by having a job in a loving and nurturing environment, but I was shaped and mentored as a social worker by the guidance of Barb H, Ken W, Tim C and the rest of the dedicated staff. I am now teaching Social Work, and I have referred countless times to the wisdom of my mentors at ECFA. I have never worked for an agency that was more selfless and focused on its Mission. It breaks my heart that others will not have the privilege of being mentored and molded in a similar way. I am sorry, too, for the many children and families that will no longer have the ECFA foster care team as part of their support network. You are all in my prayers! May new doors of opportunity be thrown WIDE open as you redirect your efforts into new ways of serving God’s children.
    In Him,
    Mary DeVries Yager

  3. As a former foster care caseworker at ECFA, I’m so sad to hear this. I applaud your efforts and your commitment to families and pray that God will do His work through what feels like a dismal situation. If there is ever anything I can do to support you with advocacy or public policy efforts, please don’t hesitate to contact me. Thank you for all you do! Many blessings. Love to Ken W., Tim C, and Barb H. and the rest of the team!

  4. As a former caseworker for ECFA, I am saddened by this news. My prayers go out to Barb H, Lois E, and all of the current members of the foster care team. May God protect you and provide for you in this season of change. And may you never lose hope. The kingdoms of this world will come and they will pass, but the Rock stands firm; and it is upon this Rock that we will find our refuge and hope.

    Your brother in Christ,
    Scott Bryant

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