Troubled DCFS agency limps along

On Jan. 7 a joint panel of the Senate and House of Representatives met to hear nearly five hours of testimony based on a series of troubling stories called “Harsh Treatment” by the Chicago Tribune.

The hearing focused on the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS), which will likely be subject to intense scrutiny when Governor-elect Rauner takes office. The Tribune series exposed terrible deficiencies in the state’s foster care program and revealed massive under-reporting of mentally-troubled youth who were subject to state care.

The Tribune’s investigative series found hundreds of cases of neglect, physical and sexual abuse at some of the state’s more than 50 residential facilities. Additionally, thousands of runaways went unaccounted for during the investigative period of 2011-2013. DCFS saw seven different leadership changes during the past three years and the stinging series is clearly another black mark on Pat Quinn’s six years as Governor.

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