WBEZ | Barbara Shaw http://www.wbez.org/tags/barbara-shaw Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Out of the Shadows: Exploring local resources for mentally ill youth http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-10-17/out-shadows-exploring-local-resources-mentally-ill-youth-93193 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/segment/photo/2011-October/2011-10-17/gavel2.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>For a deeper look at the state of mental health services for children in Illinois as part of WBEZ's new series, <a href="http://www.wbez.org/series/out-shadows" target="_blank"><em>Out of the Shadows</em></a>, <em>Eight Forty-Eight</em> turned to two experts: Barbara Shaw chaired the task force that resulted in the Children’s Mental Health Act of 2003 and Mark Heyrman, who specializes in the rights of the mentally disabled.</p><p>Shaw is currently director of the <a href="http://ivpa.org/" target="_blank">Illinois Violence Prevention Authority</a>, the state agency is in charge of public health and public safety approaches to violence prevention in Illinois. In 1988, Heyrman served as executive director of the Governor's Commission to Revise the Mental Health Code of Illinois.</p><div class="inset"><div class="insetContent"><p><a href="http://www.wbez.org/series/out-shadows" target="_blank"><img alt="" src="http://www.wbez.org/sites/default/files/story/insert-image/2011-October/2011-10-12/OutOfShadows-promo.jpg" style="width: 280px; height: 63px;" title=""></a></p><p><span style="font-size: 11px;">Out of the Shadows will explore the fractures in mental health care for children in Illinois and illuminate how it affects our youth.</span></p></div></div><p>The conversations looked at legislative and societal efforts in place to help mentally ill children in Illinois. Shaw and Heyrman spoke about what Illinois has done right, what it's done wrong and what prevents the state from doing things better.</p><p><strong>Join the conversation: Ask experts about mental illness in our <a href="http://www.wbez.org/story/live-chat-ask-experts-about-childhood-mental-illness-93156">live chat</a>.</strong></p></p> Mon, 17 Oct 2011 15:29:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-10-17/out-shadows-exploring-local-resources-mentally-ill-youth-93193 Families struggle to get help for mentally ill kids http://www.wbez.org/content/families-struggle-get-help-mentally-ill-kids <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/photo/2011-October/2011-10-17/family shaddows_Flickr_emily Kreed.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Mental illness knows no boundaries. It affects all incomes, all races and all ages.</p><p><img alt="" class="caption" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/insert-image/2011-October/2011-10-17/family shaddows_Flickr_emily Kreed.jpg" style="width: 450px; height: 338px; margin: 5px; float: left;" title="(Flickr/Emily Kreed)">But for parents who notice signs of mental illness in their children, the state of Illinois offers few options. The National Alliance on Mental Illness in 2009 gave Illinois a “D” for mental health services offered. And that was before budget cuts this year ravaged human service programs.</p><p>What is left is a fragile network that leaves thousands of families without help.</p><p>For almost 10 years, one group has been trying to raise awareness about children’s mental health. They’re mostly advocates and social workers called the Illinois Children’s Mental Health Partnership. They meet quarterly.</p><p>In 2002, they were part of a task force that described children’s mental health as an urgent priority. They recommended better training for teachers, more coordination between state agencies and more counselors and therapy for kids. &nbsp;</p><p>But the reality is this: They haven’t been able to do <em>nearly</em> as much as they planned 10 years ago.</p><p>The problem is, the state has no money.</p><p>"There are parts of the state that have no child or adolescent psychiatrists. The need far surpasses the availability of the resources. That’s just the fact of it. And it’s being cut. Kids who are seriously emotionally disturbed, it’s estimated only half of those children are really getting the services that they need," said Barbara Shaw, director of the Illinois Violence Prevention Authority and leader of the mental health task force.</p><p><img alt="" class="caption" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/insert-image/2011-October/2011-10-17/Barbara Shaw mental health_KMcQ.JPG" style="width: 350px; height: 206px; margin: 5px; float: right;" title="Barbara Shaw of the Illinois Children's Mental Health Partnership chairs a meeting of the group last month. The partnership has been working on mental health issues for nearly 10 years. (WBEZ/Kristen McQueary)">State Rep. Sara Feigenholtz (D-Chicago) chairs the House budget committee that cut funding to mental health programs in May.</p><p>"We don't want to cut these progrmams. The irony of so much of this is that many of the programs are programs that the very committee members who are cutting have established. So we’re faced with some very gruesome decisions. It’s not a celebration. There are tears," she said.</p><p>Money to train teachers, doctors and day care workers has been scaled back. Counseling to help kids transitioning out of juvenile detention and foster care is almost gone entirely. Ten years after advocates started working on the issue, most families still aren’t getting the intervention they need.</p><p>Jennifer Humbert is lucky. She has two children who <em>are</em> getting state aid, but only because they qualify for a program for severe cases. Her 13-year-old son was hospitalized three times this summer.</p><p>"Once for talking about killing himself, once for making a gesture where he picked up a table knife and threatened to hurt himself, and then for taking 27 of one of his medications in an attempt to kill himself," she said.</p><p>Before the help came, she considered moving her family to Maine, a state with a much better track record of helping kids.</p><p>"Unless you can get your hands on some very specialized grant money and in order to get it your child really truly has to be on the verge of killing themselves or someone else or unless you know the system really, really well, you’re not going to get what you need," Humbert said.</p><p>In 2003, based on the task force recommendations, the legislature passed the Children’s Mental Health Act which sought to improve programs for families with a mentally ill child. Some of the goals were put into place. &nbsp;</p><p>The partnership worked with about 80 schools to be on the lookout for signs of mental illness. It started a long-distance, tele-psychiatry program to help kids in rural areas. There was some training of doctors and daycare workers.</p><p>But the programs are small and facing severe cutbacks.</p><p>"Government does have its limitations. It’s not as if government has all the money and resources that it needs to get from A to Z in a short period of time. And so it’s a large ship and you can’t turn a large ship on a dime," Shaw said.</p><p><img alt="" class="caption" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/insert-image/2011-October/2011-10-17/meeting-room-mental-health-2_KMcQ.jpg" style="width: 350px; height: 233px; margin: 5px; float: left;" title="Children's mental health advocates gather for a September meeting at the headquarters of Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Illinois. (WBEZ/Kristen McQueary)">The families hurt the most by the lack of resources are the ones who make too much money to qualify for Medicaid but whose private insurance doesn’t cover everything they need.</p><p>Angela Kimball is with the National Alliance on Mental Illness.</p><p>"In many cases, it does not matter how much money you have in the private sector. You simply cannot buy the kinds of services that are needed for children with intensive behavioral health needs," Kimball said.</p><p>Advocates say cutting mental health means a higher price down the road.</p><p>"We pay more for the jail and the&nbsp; prison than we would if we would have invested in that person’s mental health issues when they were younger and those mental health issues were maybe less severe," Shaw said.</p><p>Some studies say up to 70 percent of kids in the juvenile justice system suffer from some form of mental illness. Illinois taxpayers spend more than 150,000 thousand dollars on each of them, every year.</p></p> Mon, 17 Oct 2011 14:24:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/content/families-struggle-get-help-mentally-ill-kids State antiviolence effort raises eyebrows on West Side http://www.wbez.org/story/29th-ward/state-antiviolence-effort-raises-eyebrows-west-side <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/DeborahGraham.JPG" alt="" /><p><p>Some community leaders on Chicago&rsquo;s West Side don&rsquo;t like the way Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn&rsquo;s administration is doling out funds in a $31 million program to combat Chicago-area youth violence. <br /><br />They wonder why aldermen are involved and why the pastor of Ald. Deborah Graham (29th) is getting the biggest grant in the city&rsquo;s Austin neighborhood.<br /><br />Quinn&rsquo;s office and a state agency called the Illinois Violence Prevention Authority are overseeing the program, called the Neighborhood Recovery Initiative. Barbara Shaw, the agency&rsquo;s director, says 205 community groups will receive funds to provide everything from jobs to mentoring and counseling.<br /><br />&ldquo;This is a very important program to provide a range of very important services that our young people need,&rdquo; Shaw says. &ldquo;Smaller agencies, larger agencies, the faith-based community&mdash;[we&rsquo;re] really trying to pull together the variety of organizations to be a part of being there for kids.&rdquo;<br /><br />The state&rsquo;s first step was choosing a lead agency last fall in each of 23 city neighborhoods and suburbs targeted for help.<br /><br />Here&rsquo;s the thorny part. Instead of putting out an open request for proposals, the state asked individual Chicago aldermen to recommend the lead agencies. Shaw says that saved time and will help get the services out faster.<br /><br />But an alderman&rsquo;s role in Chicago&rsquo;s Austin neighborhood has led to some stark accusations. &ldquo;It&rsquo;s business as usual,&rdquo; says Mary Russell Gardner, who&rsquo;s running in the 29th Ward aldermanic race. &ldquo;Award my friends that helped me, and Kibbles &rsquo;N Bits for everyone else.&rdquo;<br /><br />Gardner, who is trying to unseat Graham, is making hay about a $290,000 grant for youth mentoring&mdash;the biggest chunk of $1.2 million slated for Austin in the antiviolence program.<br /><br />The group selected for that grant, Kingdom Community, Inc., has close ties to Graham. It&rsquo;s run by her pastor, Rev. John Abercrombie of Truth and Deliverance International Ministries.<br /><br />Graham responds that her opponent is making a stink about nothing. The alderman recommended Circle Family HealthCare Network as Austin&rsquo;s lead agency. Graham insists it was Circle, not her, that chose Kingdom Community for the mentoring.<br /><br />&ldquo;I had no input on who the sub-agencies would be&mdash;none whatsoever,&rdquo; Graham says. &ldquo;I had no idea that they had been selected before the press release came out.&rdquo;<br /><br />Who chose Kingdom Community for the big grant? Andre Hines, Circle&rsquo;s chief executive officer, says the decision was made by a community committee her agency formed. That committee chose most of the Austin groups Circle will oversee in the state&rsquo;s antiviolence program.<br /><br />Hines isn&rsquo;t claiming Kingdom Community will do a better job on the mentoring than any other Austin group would have. &ldquo;The only thing we can do is look at who applied and select the best candidate based on those applications,&rdquo; she says, insisting the process was fair.<br /><br />Kingdom Community isn&rsquo;t the only antiviolence grant recipient in Austin that&rsquo;s raising eyebrows. Learning Network Center, a group chosen to help parents become community leaders, is led by Luther Syas, who circulated signature petitions to get Graham on the 29th Ward ballot.<br /><br />Hines says she had no idea Syas had any ties to the alderman.<br /><br />Austin resident Steven McCullough, who until last year led a large West Side social-service provider called Bethel New Life, says he takes Graham&rsquo;s word she didn&rsquo;t pull strings for either her pastor or the petition circulator. But McCullough says there&rsquo;s still a problem: &ldquo;It doesn&rsquo;t look good.&rdquo;<br /><br />McCullough, now chief operating officer of a citywide group called the Safer Foundation, says the state has no business letting local politicians steer social-service contracts. &ldquo;What it can lead to is a situation where an organization is perceived to be favored over another organization that delivers similar services or even a higher quality of service,&rdquo; he says.<br /><br />McCullough says a transparent process would serve the public better.<br /><br />The ultimate losers, McCullough adds, may include Graham. If her pastor doesn&rsquo;t come through with excellent youth mentoring, he says, &ldquo;a lot of fingers will be pointing at her.&rdquo;</p></p> Fri, 11 Feb 2011 00:15:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/story/29th-ward/state-antiviolence-effort-raises-eyebrows-west-side Gang mediators take on domestic violence http://www.wbez.org/story/advocate/gang-mediators-take-domestic-violence <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/Kerr_0.JPG" alt="" /><p><p>A Chicago-based group called CeaseFire works in the city&rsquo;s toughest neighborhoods. It trains former gang members to mediate conflicts that could turn violent. Those conflicts might be over turf or money, a pecking order or a personality clash. Now CeaseFire is addressing another source of gang tension: wives and girlfriends. But some advocates for battered women worry that mixing gang intervention with domestic-violence work could backfire.</p><p>MITCHELL (at the scene): I&rsquo;m at the offices of a Humboldt Park group called the Alliance of Local Service Organizations. It runs a CeaseFire chapter and they&rsquo;re letting me listen in to a debriefing about a shooting this month.<br />CEASEFIRE WORKER A: Could there be retaliation to this incident?<br />CEASEFIRE WORKER B: There could have been, very likely, but since we talked them down and...<br />CEASEFIRE WORKER A: Because somebody went around on a graffiti rampage, right?<br />MITCHELL (at the scene): I&rsquo;ve agreed not to identify the CeaseFire workers or anyone involved in the conflict.<br />CEASEFIRE WORKER A: The victim was in a relationship?<br />CEASEFIRE WORKER B: He&rsquo;s in a relationship. He was having another relationship outside the relationship....<br /><br />MITCHELL (in the bureau): Here&rsquo;s the gist of the story&mdash;all of it alleged. A gang member got a teenager pregnant and started slapping her around. This didn&rsquo;t sit well with her family. And, the thing is, her family&rsquo;s in a different gang. So someone in that mob tracked down the man and shot him.<br /><br />CEASEFIRE WORKER A: Did the victim die?<br />CEASEFIRE WORKER B: No.<br />CEASEFIRE WORKER A: Did the victim know the perp?<br />CEASEFIRE WORKER B: Yes.<br /><br />MITCHELL: Violence involving gangs and girlfriends is nothing new in Chicago. But it&rsquo;s only lately that CeaseFire&rsquo;s Humboldt Park chapter responds this way:<br /><br />CEASEFIRE WORKER A: OK, so a domestic-violence advocate has been notified and is working with the related parties around safety planning. We don&rsquo;t know if that has taken place, right?<br />CEASEFIRE WORKER B: No.<br />CEASEFIRE WORKER A: Because we gave her the card but...<br />CEASEFIRE WORKER B: It&rsquo;s on her if she wants to go get the help. We can&rsquo;t force her to do anything.<br />KERR: And there are other services that we&rsquo;ve connected with as well so...<br /><br />MITCHELL: This last guy is Norman Kerr. He&rsquo;s a social worker who oversees the CeaseFire chapter. Kerr speaks with me after the meeting.<br /><br />KERR: A year ago, we didn&rsquo;t really concern ourselves with needs of the victim in a domestic-violence case. If there was a young lady who was victimized by her boyfriend, that really wasn&rsquo;t something that we addressed.<br /><br />MITCHELL: So Kerr and some former gang members he supervises got some training from the Chicago Metropolitan Battered Women&rsquo;s Network. And the CeaseFire chapter has developed an approach to what it calls &ldquo;intimate-partner violence.&rdquo;<br /><br />KERR: If we know someone is victimized, we want to make sure that they&rsquo;re getting the help that they need. And, at the same time, we&rsquo;re sitting here talking about how we can educate the young guys that they shouldn&rsquo;t be perpetrating domestic violence.<br /><br />SHAW: That&rsquo;s a dream come true.<br /><br />MITCHELL: Barbara Shaw heads a state agency called the Illinois Violence Prevention Authority.<br /><br />SHAW: Men sometimes feel that they have a right to hit their girlfriends or hit their wives&mdash;that they&rsquo;re supposed to maintain control. And having other men, particularly men who have a macho image themselves, telling them that this is not OK and not manly increases the validity and strength of the message.<br /><br />MITCHELL: Shaw says gang interventionists with roots in the neighborhood have much more access to perpetrators than victim advocates do. That&rsquo;s actually the idea behind expanding the program. Starting next month, the Humboldt Park chapter will train CeaseFire street workers citywide about intimate-partner violence.&nbsp; But some battered-women&rsquo;s advocates warn that CeaseFire could be putting those workers in greater danger.<br /><br />ABARCA: The offender may try to send other people after him or may teach him a lesson for getting into his business.<br /><br />MITCHELL: Rosa Abarca heads the domestic-violence program at Mujeres Latinas en Acción. That&rsquo;s a women&rsquo;s center in Chicago&rsquo;s Pilsen neighborhood. Abarca says a perp. might mistake what a CeaseFire worker&rsquo;s up to.<br /><br />ABARCA: He may feel like this is a boyfriend that&rsquo;s trying to help her out. And that can escalate the abuse for her because he&rsquo;s probably thinking that, &quot;She&rsquo;s being unfaithful. I need to control her more.&quot;<br /><br />MITCHELL: And Abarca points out some victims may not be ready for help.<br /><br />AMBI: Debriefing.<br /><br />MITCHELL: Back in Humboldt Park, the CeaseFire workers are still talking about the shooting.<br /><br />CEASEFIRE WORKER A: Let me ask you this: What happens if she does end up getting slapped again tomorrow?<br /><br />MITCHELL: I ask the group&rsquo;s leader, Norman Kerr, whether Abarca has got a point.&nbsp; Maybe a CeaseFire worker could make a domestic dispute worse. Maybe he could spark more violence.<br /><br />KERR: We&rsquo;re not trying to work directly with female victims. We&rsquo;re making referrals. We&rsquo;re making sure that the female victims in those situations are getting some services.<br /><br />MITCHELL: Kerr wants his crew to be careful. But since so many gang disputes involve girlfriends and wives, he says, CeaseFire has no choice but to get involved.</p><p><em>Music Button: Calibro 35, &quot;Appuntamento Al Contessa&quot;, from the CD Rare, (Nublu) </em></p></p> Mon, 24 Jan 2011 11:00:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/story/advocate/gang-mediators-take-domestic-violence