Effective December 3, 2019, Governor Pritzker appointed CEO of Family Counseling Center, Inc. Sherrie L. Crabb to the new Youth Budget Commission. Her role will specifically be to represent an organization that has expertise in the needs of low-income youth for a three-year term.
Per the State Commissions website, the Youth Budget Commission is intended to create an annual fiscal scan that will, in turn, be used to advise the Governor and the General Assembly, as well as State agencies, on ways to improve and expand existing policies, services, programs and opportunities for adolescents. An example of such a fiscal scan for 2018 was recently released by the Governor’s Office of Management and Budget.
“I’m very appreciative of the opportunity to serve in this role,” said Crabb. “This is an opportunity to give voice to those youth from low-income families on matters of policy and budget within the State.”
Family Counseling Center, Inc. is among Human Service providers in Illinois severely impacted during the State’s budget impasse during fiscal years 2016, 2017 and part of 2018. In addition to multiple cuts to youth services across the board, Crabb’s agency was forced at that time to permanently close Mahoney Transitional Living, a residential facility for youth experiencing homelessness.
“It’s easy to point fingers at what we all consider shortcomings in previous years when it comes to youth services but the reality is we can’t expect legislators and State executives to be experts in this area,” explained Crabb. “Even just looking at the composition of the Commission, you get a feel for the wide variety of specialties and perspectives.”
Once all positions are filled, the Youth Budget Commission will have two co-chairs, one a member of the General Assembly and another from a statewide nonprofit with experience performing a similar analysis of the State budget. In addition to at least one representative of an organization with expertise in low-income youth, the Commission will include representatives of organizations with expertise in the needs of youth of color, youth who are immigrants or the children of immigrants, youth identifying as LGBTQ or gender non-conforming, youth disconnected from traditional educational systems, youth experiencing homelessness and youth involved in the justice system.
“Each member of the Commission represents unique experiences and needs of the young people we serve. All of them deserve to be represented,” added Crabb.
This first meeting of the Youth Budget Commission is scheduled for Friday, December 6, 2019. Crabb will be sworn in at that time.