According to a new audit on the Illinois Department of Child and Family Services, investigations into child abuse and neglect jumped 11% in two years.
The audit also shows that it took the agency longer to respond to complaints and to complete investigations. In addition, investigators’ caseloads exceeded maximum caseload rules detailed by the federal government.
The 133-page audit concludes with 13 recommendations for improvement within DCFS.
But state lawmakers are taking it a step further, proposing an amendment they say would improve accountability.
This amendment would add new language to existing law to create transparency in the agency’s chain of command.
“Our focus is on protecting children,” Rep. Sara Feigenholtz of Chicago said, “and in the timelines that we are receiving on all of these that the department is providing, the missing piece is the chain of command.”
Illinois DCFS has been under increased scrutiny in recent months, after several children in their care died, including AJ Freund in Crystal Lake, IL last month.