Department of Children and Family Services

RYAN DENHAM / WGLT

A child welfare expert at Illinois State University said she’s encouraged by the latest attempts to better fund and reform the state’s troubled Department of Children and Family Services.

The Illinois Department of Children and Family Services is proposing new rules for licensed foster homes that include vaccination of children and a no-smoking policy.

DCFS spokesman Jassen Strokosch says the proposed rules are meant to comply with National Model Foster Family Home Licensing Standards adopted in February by the Children's Bureau of the Administration for Children and Families, a part of U.S. Department of Health and Human Service.

DCFS

The Illinois Department of Children and Family Services wants the public to help root out child abuse. DCFS is operating under a motto of “see something, say something.”  Spokeswoman Veronica Resa says a call to the child abuse hotline doesn’t mean the state will automatically break up a family. 

"What we're going to do is hopefully find them family services, help them stay united through supporting them with things such as parenting classes or anger management classes.  We even have classes to help them with finances."

DCFS

The Illinois Department of Children and Family Services doesn’t want an outside monitor overseeing its operations. That’s despite the recommendation from an independent review of the agency.

An attorney for DCFS told a federal judge Tuesday the agency agrees with every other part of the expert’s often very critical report.

State of Illinois

Illinois’s child welfare workers are getting caught up in the ongoing budget stalemate in Springfield.

While there’s no spending plan, a federal judge mandated Illinois government to keep funding child welfare. That’s including checking on allegations of child abuse or neglect.

Contractors have been told to keep doing that work at the same funding level.

In the meantime, the state’s Department of Children and Family Services is telling them to prepare for 10 percent cuts.

DCFS

UPDATE, 11:15 am

A federal judge says Illinois must keep funding child-protection services while the governor and lawmakers haggle over the budget. The ACLU went to court to ask the judge to keep money available for for the Department of Children and Family Services, regardless of the ruling on paychecks for other state employees.

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Two key court hearings are happening in Chicago today that could shape how the Illinois state government shutdown plays out. 

American Civil Liberties Union Takes DCFS To Court

Feb 16, 2015
Wikipedia

The American Civil Liberties Union is suing Illinois’ child welfare system for not effectively monitoring children in its care.

The ACLU has been overseeing how the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services cares for kids for more than 20 years. They have federal court authority to do that.