September 28, 2016

Earlier today, U.S. District Court Judge Jorge Alonso approved a proposed implementation plan in the on-going B.H. v. Sheldon litigation. The plan is designed to assure that placements and services for those children under the care of DCFS meet appropriate constitutional standards. The implementation plan was initially filed with the court in February of this year. It was developed with the help of a group of experts appointed and approved by the Court. DCFS is now committed to a series of ambitious steps necessary to improve conditions for children under the care of DCFS. The following can be attributed to Heidi Dalenberg, General Counsel for the ACLU of Illinois and counsel in the B.H. case:

“We are pleased that Judge Alonso approved the implementation plan. The plan makes DCFS accountable to the federal court for the way in which they care for the children in the system, including the most vulnerable children with mental and behavioral health challenges. We have seen numerous recent reports that make clear that the agency is not meeting the needs of these children. This plan – with court oversight and outside, independent expert monitoring – can start the system on the road to repair. But there is hard work ahead. We are committed to improving conditions for the thousands of children under the care of DCFS.”