DCFS

illinois.gov

The head of Illinois' child welfare agency says the 2014 shooting death of a black teenager by a white police officer has spurred more focus in how the agency handles cases of troubled youths.

Department of Children and Family Services Director George Sheldon says since police footage was released in November, agency workers have gone through thousands of pages of documents relating to Laquan McDonald, who was a state ward for most of his 17 years.

Sheldon says the agency has changed how workers review cases like McDonald's.

Loyola University School of Law

Illinois’s child welfare agency wants to do a better job taking care of its most troubled kids - and they have a plan.

The idea is that kids who have suffered abuse or witnessed violence would be placed with families with no more than two wards per home. The parents in these foster homes would get special training and at least one would stay home full time.

aclu-il.org

An attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union says he’s hopeful Illinois’ troubled child welfare system will make some big changes.

The ACLU’s Ben Wolf is at the center of an ongoing class action lawsuit over how the Department of Children and Family Services treats kids in its care.

“For children with behavioral and psychological challenges, there just aren’t the services they need, and the result of that is they’re left languishing in correctional centers and shelters and all sorts of places that just aren’t the right place to spend your childhood,” Wolf said.

DCFS: 'We Have Stepped Up Our Game' On Runaway Kids

Jul 30, 2015
DCFS

Illinois’s child welfare agency says it’s doing a better job of tracking youth who run away.

That’s after an audit showed the Department of Children and Family Services was failing to keep tabs on those young people.

George Sheldon, the head of the agency, says runaways tend to be teenagers who have low self-esteem with few relatives to turn to - and sometimes are victims of human trafficking.

“These are the perfect victims,” Sheldon said. “So I think we have stepped up our game.”

aclu-il.org

Illinois’s Department of Children and Family Services is telling contractors to be ready to make cuts if political leaders ever agree on a spending plan.

A federal judge told DCFS to provide the same level of services as it had in June, until the governor and legislators approve a budget.

But DCFS is pre-emptively telling its contractors to also get ready for 10 percent cuts - though there is no budget guiding that.

Ben Wolf is with the American Civil Liberties Union and has sued DCFS over its quality of care before.

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