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SPRINGFIELD – The Auditor General today released a troubling audit on the failure of the Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) to report missing children in state custody dating back to 2011. The audit comes on the heels of an ongoing investigation into abuse and lack of supervision in DCFS residential facilities, the subject of an upcoming Illinois House hearing scheduled for January 7. The reports involve cases of physical and sexual abuse of children in state custody; including exposure to drugs, acts of violence and forced prostitution.

The audit released today was conducted in response to a legislative measure adopted in May, HR 120, directing the Office of the Auditor General to conduct a management audit of the DCFS search for missing children. The Resolution asked the audit to determine for calendar years 2011–2012: (1) the number of children reported missing; (2) whether timely reports of missing children were made to required parties; and (3) the steps followed to locate and recover missing children, including compliance with procedures.
CHICAGO – House Republicans today praised the scheduling of a hearing of the Human Services Committee for Wednesday, January 7 to receive testimony regarding documented abuse at DCFS Residential Facilities throughout the state. The hearing comes in response to a series of disturbing reports exposing cases of physical and sexual abuse of children in state custody; including exposure to drugs, acts of violence and forced prostitution.

Deputy House Minority Leader Patti Bellock (R-Hinsdale), the Republican Spokesperson on the Human Services Appropriations Committee, applauded legislative leaders for scheduling the upcoming hearing and stressed the need for an immediate response by DCFS officials.

"We absolutely must do a better job of protecting every child in the DCFS system and come up with remedies to prevent the exploitation and physical or sexual abuse of these kids,” Bellock said. “The safety of children must be our paramount priority. The current system is clearly failing too many kids and putting thousands at risk. I join Governor-elect Rauner’s call for a bipartisan response by the General Assembly to approve needed reforms with built-in accountability.”

The Human Services Committee hearing is scheduled to take place at 10:00am on Wednesday, January 7 at the Michael A. Bilandic Building. The facilities in question where documented abuse has occurred are contracted by the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services to provide supervision and therapy for youth who have suffered abuse and neglect or have serious behavioral and mental health issues.

“Accounts of the abuse that has gone unchecked in some Illinois youth facilities is an absolute tragedy,” added Rep. Bellock. “These children are put in state care to protect them from danger. One thing is clear: we need to make changes to ensure these children are cared for and protected moving forward without delay.”

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WESTMONT– Deputy House Minority Leader and State Rep. Patti Bellock (R-Hinsdale) issued the following statement today upon news of the death of Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka:  

"Judy Baar Topinka was a trailblazer for women in Illinois government. Her fearless tenacity, unbridled energy and indomitable spirit made her a remarkable leader and true public servant. Illinois is a better state for having had the benefit of her leadership, and all of us who knew her and who were privileged to call her a friend have lost someone near and dear to our hearts. I extend my deepest condolences to the Topinka family at this difficult time."

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Illinois House of Representatives Adopts Resolutions to Honor Athletes

Hinsdale, Ill. – November 18, 2014 – Hinsdale Township High School District 86 today announced that members of all the Hinsdale Central IHSA State Championship teams have been invited to the Illinois House of Representatives to be present for the adoption of House Resolutions 1211, 1328, 1329, 1330, 1331 and 1332. The resolutions are all sponsored by Representative Patti Bellock.

HR1211 was introduced this summer to honor the Hinsdale Central Boys’ Tennis Team for its remarkable record as well as its three consecutive State wins. During this fall’s athletic season, Hinsdale Central won five State tournaments, an IHSA record. After each win, Rep. Bellock graciously extended the invitation to include all the winning teams from the spring and fall: Boys’ soccer, cross country and golf, girls’ tennis and golf.
By Merrill Matthews          

Every state is struggling with the explosive growth and cost of its Medicaid program. Illinois, however, found a way to reduce Medicaid spending significantly, freeing up money for other important projects—or better yet, tax cuts.

Medicaid, the government health-insurance program for the poor and disabled, covered 72.2 million people for at least one month in 2012, according to estimates from the Department of Health and Human Services....
Rep. Bellock teams up with Elmhurst Memorial Hospital to educate families

ELMHURST – All DuPage County families are invited to attend a FREE public forum in response to the growing heroin epidemic among suburban teens and young adults. The forum, “Heroin: The Suburban Secret” is sponsored by State Rep. Patti Bellock (R-Hinsdale) and Elmhurst Memorial Hospital to bring community service providers and policymakers together to educate parents and families about how to prevent and respond to this public health threat in our community.

The forum, to be held at Elmhurst Memorial Hospital at 7:00pm on Tuesday, October 28, features a panel led by DuPage County State’s Attorney Robert Berlin and Rosecrance Health Network. The panelists will discuss various aspects of the local heroin crisis including prevention education, treatment resources, law enforcement response and analysis of the trends associated with the tragic local deaths resulting from a heroin overdose.

“Local families cannot afford to ignore the dangers associated with the skyrocketing growth in heroin use among teens and young adults,” Rep. Bellock said. “Our heroin forum will pull back the curtain on the very real impact this epidemic is having on families throughout DuPage County and; most importantly, how we can respond.”

The forum is free and open to the public. Parents, educators and students are all welcome and encouraged to attend.  Event details are as follows:

Heroin: The Suburban Secret
Sponsored by Deputy House Minority Leader Patti Bellock
Tuesday, October 28, 2014
Time: 7:00pm
Elmhurst Memorial Hospital
155 E. Brush Hill Road
Elmhurst, IL 60126

For questions or more information, please contact Rep. Bellock’s office at (630) 852-8633.

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WESTMONT – Local residents who are unemployed or underemployed can sharpen their skills and prepare to compete in today's job market at a job readiness boot camp from 6:00pm – 8:00pm on Thursday, October 9 at the Westmont Centre (lower level), located at 1 S. Cass Ave. in Westmont; sponsored by State Representative Patti Bellock (R- Hinsdale) and DeVry University.

The workshop will include resume writing and one-on-one consultations in addition to job search strategies, interview preparation and tips on how to utilize social networking tools.

“It is important for job seekers of all ages to be prepared in today’s challenging economy,” said Bellock. “Each individual has a unique skill set and abilities that make them qualified for a career opportunity. Our engaging workshop will help you to maximize those strengths in your job search.”

This is the second consecutive year Representative Bellock and DeVry University are teaming up to offer the Jobs Boot Camp.

Career services professionals will be available to review resumes and offer any guidance and improvement if necessary. RSVP’s are requested to ensure that an appropriate number of resources are available. For more information or to RSVP, please call Representative Bellock’s office at 630-852-8633.