Judge Approves Interim Plan To Address Scandals At DCFS

Mar 10, 2015

Last month, a WBEZ investigation found that the Department of Children and Family Services routinely leaves kids in jail for weeks, even months, after a judge says they should go home.

Credit DCFS

That’s after a recent Chicago Tribune series found the residential centers the state sends some kids to are unsafe and poorly monitored.

Ben Wolf with the American Civil Liberties Union says the root of both of those problems is a lack of mental health services for kids with special needs.

"If the only place we can provide intensive mental health services is residential centers we’re always going to have shortages."

The ACLU filed an emergency motion last month saying the department is causing irreversible harm to the youth in its care by failing to find proper placement or monitor its residential treatment centers.

A spokesman for the department says they are encouraged by the agreement and look forward to working with the ACLU.