IL Catholic Foster Care Ruling Endangers Status of All Foster Care Agencies



Last week, the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) informed the Evangelical Child and Family Agency (ECFA) — a 61-year-old group that has been contracting with the state to place foster children in homes since 1965 — that its contract will not be renewed in the new fiscal year, since the agency won’t place kids with same-sex couples.

... “They’re saying all agencies that contract with DCFS need to be an ‘agent of the state,’” said ECFA Executive Director Ken Withrow. “Til now, the understanding was that we would be partners with the state — in our case, recruiting evangelicals to become foster care parents.”

... Tammy Schulz, an Oak Park mother whose four adopted children came to her as foster care cases through ECFA, said the trend smacks of religious discrimination.

“They’ve been blatant about their evangelical Christian beliefs and have a great track record,” she said. “Why else would they do this to a group that’s worked with the state for 45 years?”