SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – Recognizing the importance of the need to maintain healthy families in order to foster strong, stable young people, state Rep. Jehan Gordon-Booth, D-Peoria, passed out of committee a resolution that emphasizes the need to support supervised visitation centers.
“Visitation centers can be a critical link between a child and their parents,” Gordon-Booth said. “It’s important that we properly fund these centers to make sure they are accessible – and right now I’m concerned that funding here in Peoria County is dangerously low.”
“The Tenth Judicial Circuit appreciates Representative Jehan Gordon-Booth’s collaborative efforts to ensure the ongoing operation of the Visitation Center for the benefit of area families,” said Tenth Circuit Chief Judge Katherine Gorman.
Gordon-Booth’s House Resolution 745 notes that Peoria County is charged with making grant disbursements to not-for-profit organizations for the purposes of providing supervised visitations, and that the county’s neutral site custody exchange fund balance has run an annual deficit for seven consecutive years and will soon become depleted. Visitation hours have been reduced to 15.5 hours per week at Crittenton Centers, which houses supervised visits for children and parents to re-establish, maintain and build relationships.
“With hours so low at the moment, I’m concerned about how many families are falling through the cracks,” Gordon-Booth said. “Visitation centers facilitate positive parental contact with children, let’s work together to make sure we are properly funding and prioritizing these programs.”