Reforms Aim to Improve Care for At-Risk Youth

Senate Republican proposals to help Illinois’ most vulnerable children are the foundation of a Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) initiative to provide greater stability and improve outcomes for Illinois foster children.

Senate Bill 2371 (Rezin) would include foster parents among those eligible to become a child’s guardian, while another measure, Senate Bill 3041 (Radogno), would allow foster parents and caregivers to make more decisions on behalf of the child, instead of DCFS.

DCFS Director George Sheldon has overseen significant improvements at the Department within the last year, reducing the number of children in shelter care by 50 percent, reducing the use of institutional residential treatment and instituting a new directive to ensure no child under the age of six spends the night in a shelter.

Additionally, by rectifying Departmental paperwork issues that existed under the Quinn Administration, DCFS is expected to receive an additional $16 million a year moving forward.

Chapin Rose

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