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Non-Profit That Serves Children Makes Drastic Cut In Services

CHICAGO (CBS) -- A non-profit agency that provides services to children and families is making a drastic cut in services throughout the state.

By summer's end, Lutheran Child and Family Services of Illinois (LCFS) plans to close nine programs, costing 100 people their jobs.


The 144-year-old agency says the cuts are designed to allow LCFS to continue helping people throughout Illinois. Furthermore, the agency said the reason for the cuts include trying to serve too many diverse groups, in addition to cutbacks and state funding.

Chicago Uptown Ministry, the Little Village Food Pantry and the Lutherbrook Child and Adolescent Center in Addison are among the programs to be closed.

Louie Zaino has spent 42 years caring for troubled kids at Lutherbrook. But in just a few weeks, once the center shuts down, the 50 kids there will be transferred, and Zaino will be out of a job.

"Kids who have a lot of trauma, and without good treatment, they could be impacted later in life," Zaino said.

Despite the state's budget gridlock, Lutherbrook has been receiving court-ordered payments; but not enough to pay for quality care.

President and CEO, Mike Bertrand, said, "we've been doing all we can to make everybody aware of the real human impact that this lack of a budget and this lack of clarity in our state is having on people."

The center cares for victims of severe trauma between the ages of 6 and 18. "Trauma, unfortunately in our society, has really increased," Zaino said.

Even if budget solutions are found, they won't come fast enough to save Lutherbrook.

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