An Illinois law passed in 2014 was supposed to ensure that families no longer have to give up custody of their children in order to get them necessary mental health treatment. But it remains an issue to this day, and the chief sponsor of the Custody Relinquishment Prevention Act (HB5598) says several state agencies are to blame.

"Swings" By Flickr User halfrain / (CC X 2.0)

Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner is replacing the long-time watchdog of Illinois’ troubled child welfare system.

Denise Kane has been the inspector general of the Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) for 24 years.

But Rauner quietly announced last week that he’s replacing her at the end of the month.

Ben Wolf is with the ACLU - which has monitored DCFS under a court order for decade.

“I never doubted for a moment that her heart was focused on the best interest of the children and not on anything else,” he said.

Governor Names New DCFS Director

Jun 23, 2017

Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner has appointed Beverly (BJ) Walker as Director of the Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS).


Walker has leadership and management experience from more than 30 years in human services and education.

She previously worked for the State of Illinois as Director of Community Operations for the Department of Human Services. Walker also served as Assistant to the Governor for Human Services Reform under Gov. Jim Edgar.

"Swings" By Flickr User halfrain / (CC X 2.0)

A progress report filed in federal court shows that Illinois' child welfare agency has slowly made "incremental" improvements, but concerns linger about the impact of the state's budget impasse and a "revolving door" of leadership.

DCFS Director Resigns; Rauner Names Interim

May 31, 2017

Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner has named Lise Spacapan interim director of the Department of Children and Family Services, pending a national search for a new head of the agency.

According to a news release, current director George Sheldon will be moving out of state for a new position effective June 15. He will take on the role of President and CEO of Our Kids of Miami-Dade/Monroe, Inc.

Spacapan currently works as General Counsel of Illinois DCFS. She received her L.L.M. in Health Law in 2014 and serves on the DePaul College of Law Health Law Institute.