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City Council Passes New Ordinance after Concerns Of Heartland Alliance’s Care Of Immigrant Children

Heartland Alliance, which serves many families in the Edgewater area, is facing scrutiny after reports of child neglect as well as not reporting to area aldermen their care of immigrant children that have crossed the border. Many of those children include immigrants forcibly separated from their parents under the Trump administration’s zero tolerance policy.

Last week the Chicago City Council passed a new registry and inspection ordinance as a response to those concerns at Heartland Alliance. With many Aldermen upset that they were not told about shelters housing immigrant children in their wards, the new policy requires non-profits such as Heartland to disclose the addresses of its facilities and information about the children cared for to city officials.

“The ordinance will allow for the city to regularly inspect child welfare agencies caring for immigrant children,” said Alderman Harry Osterman in an email. “This ordinance was passed in response to concerns about the care that Heartland Alliance was providing for immigrant children.”

A story put out by propublica.org detailed Heartland Human Care Services, a nonprofit service that works with those affected by poverty and homelessness, and recent issues at the organization. Those problems include an employee having a inappropriate relationship with a minor at their Bronzeville location, children engaging in sexual activity at its Des Plaines facility, multiple reports of run-aways from homes and most recently being named in a lawsuit alleging negligence after an 11-year-old boy was injured in Des Plaines.

That report also stated that 11 shelters in Illinois currently care for thousands of immigrant children each year. That includes at least 100 children recently separated from parents at the border. Attempting to meet a court-ordered deadline, all but 17 of those 100 minors have been reunited with their families.

Alderman Osterman also put out a  list of local organizations for residents to get involved and help immigrants in the Edgewater community.

Read the full Prorepublica.org story here.

 

 


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