State Representative Tom Weber (R-Lake Villa) has issued the following statement in response to the release this morning of a damning audit of the Illinois Department of Children and Family Service’s performance in 2020:
“This disastrous audit confirms what we all feared, that DCFS is failing our kids and not meeting even minimum standards as required by law.
It’s a miracle more children haven’t died.
This report is chock full of DCFS’ inability to keep track of key information, to provide mandated medical care to children in the state’s custody and, most alarmingly. to ensure the safety of a home before a child is returned after having been removed because of abuse and neglect allegations.
When you have a 98% failure rate, something is horribly wrong. There were 102 deaths of children in contact with DCFS in the year covered by this audit. How many of those children died because DCFS failed to not only ensure the homes they were put in were safe, but to not even try? What will an audit reveal about 2021 when 122 children died? Is that the progress Governor Pritzker and Director Marc Smith have been telling us they’re making?
While DCFS has had problems for many years, the mismanagement under Pritzker’s administration despite increased funding and years of vows to improve, this report outlines statutory negligence to a staggering degree. DCFS needs to answer for these grievous mistakes and so does Director Smith. Both he and Governor Pritzker have had plenty of time to right this ship, or at least make positive progress. This audit shows there has been absolutely none of that.
Kids who were in danger across this state were not protected by DCFS in 2020, and with the increasing number of children’s deaths, they still aren’t.”