© 2023 WNIJ and WNIU
Northern Public Radio
801 N 1st St.
DeKalb, IL 60115
Northern Public Radio
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations
WNIJ's summary of news items around our state.

Illinois DCFS Works Toward Increasing Capacity Of Emergency Shelters


Illinois has created a network of emergency foster care homes.


Department of Children and Family Services Director George Sheldon says these homes are places youth in the state's care can be sent in lieu of emergency shelters.

Sheldon told a legislative panel Tuesday that there's currently capacity for 36 kids. His goal is to have room for 50.

"Frankly, this state had a series of emergency foster homes a decade or so ago. I don't know why that was abandoned. I think it's a much more appropriate facility," Sheldon said.

This year's initiative to reestablish the emergency foster homes around Illinois comes after a scathing audit published last month. It that found wards of the state were stuck in institutions, like emergency shelters, for hundreds of days. 

According to a court order, those stays should last at most 30 days.

Under a Sheldon directive, no child under the age of six will be placed in an emergency shelter. 

He says that's when kids' brains are developing, and creating bonds is important.

Amanda Vinicky moved to Chicago Tonight on WTTW-TV PBS in 2017.
Related Stories