The below statement can be attributed to Heidi Dalenberg, Director of the Institutional Reform Project, ACLU of Illinois:
“Governor JB Pritzker’s proposal to increase spending for DCFS is welcome news. The child welfare system has been starved for funding for many years.
But increased funding must be matched by a commitment to build a system that ably serves the individualized interests of children in the system. In addition to money, the system requires a common-sense approach to what children need. In the past few weeks, we have seen DCFS attempt to rush – unnecessarily – children with complex medical needs into a managed care system that was not prepared to meet these children’s needs. We have seen a child shackled in a van – with the approval of some DCFS officials – and driven hundreds of miles.
Additional resources, including resources for new investigators and new training, are good. But no one should imagine that this fixes the system. That process has a long way to go.”