child welfare

Christine Herman/Side Effects Public Media

 

 

After Rebecca and Bruce Austin gave birth to their daughter, they struggled to get pregnant again. So they signed up to become foster parents.

“I wouldn’t change it for anything,” says Rebecca, reflecting on the past nine years. 

 

 

Of the nine children the Austins have fostered, they adopted four and are still caring for a fifth. Their children range in age from 22 to 4. 

And the five still living at home see 14 doctors.

An Illinois Senate bill aims to help children who are at risk of entering state custody because of issues caused by untreated mental illness. The measure comes as states grapple with ways to help parents who face a heartbreaking choice: giving up custody to obtain expensive treatment for a child.