A recent media investigation looked at the past five years of Inspector General reports on the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) and found 35 employees had actions taken against them for either falsifying information or falsely testifying in court.
The below statement can be attributed to Claire Stewart, Staff Counsel at the ACLU of Illinois:
“The public reporting that 35 employees working for or on behalf of DCFS have been disciplined in recent years for falsifying reports and testimony is appalling. How could the Department fail to address its chronic failure to retain a sufficient workforce, and its inadequate supervisory practices, after uncovering such wrongdoing? The answer is that leadership has careened from one crisis to another rather than doing the hard work to fix its fundamentally broken practices.
The dishonest behavior of these 35 workers is but a symptom of a wider problem – an agency which has lost its focus on its core mission. The new director and new leadership have an opportunity to refocus the work of DCFS on providing safety, care, and desperately needed services for children. That cannot be accomplished with slogans, wishes, or good intentions.
There is a great need for re-establishing basic honesty and providing critical services for children in Illinois throughout DCFS. That hard work must begin as soon as possible. The lives of children who are the future of our state literally depend on DCFS succeeding at its core mission of caring for youth and families. We stand ready to work with the new leadership team to accomplish this goal.”