Ottawa agency to take over Rockford foster cases

June 16, 2011

The Associated Press

(Getty Images)
Same-sex couple Teresa Williams and Jo Deutsch with their adopted children Matthew, Bena and Jacob.

An Ottawa child welfare agency will take over caseworkers and staff who serve foster children in Rockford. 

The move comes after Catholic Charities announced it would end state-funded adoption and foster-care rather than comply with Illinois' new civil union law. 

The Illinois Department of Children and Family Services announced Thursday that Youth Service Bureau of Illinois Valley will take on about 300 cases by the  end of June. The agency already serves about 1,200 children in six counties. 

Ottawa is about 70 miles south of Rockford. 

The new Illinois law allows same-sex couples and unmarried opposite-sex couples to get civil unions. The law went into effect June 1. 

Catholic Charities in Joliet and Peoria also have said they would halt licensing foster and adoptive parents because of the law.