Lawmakers grill DCFS leaders on plans for future

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SPRINGFIELD (WEEK) — The Illinois Department of Children and Family Services held a hearing Tuesday to discuss the how they plan to improve.

During the 2018 fiscal year, nearly 100 children died in the care of Illinois DCFS.

This year, they are working to hire more than 300 new employees across the state, thanks to new funding signed into law by Gov. JB Pritzker.

The new hires would help with DCFS investigations and operate the DCFS hotline.

However, some lawmakers are concerned the agency will try to help too many children, resulting in overcrowding at DCFS facilities.

“Are you going to be limiting the number of days in that hospital even though [DCFS] has a limited if any residential beds to step them down in?” Chicago Rep. Sara Feigenholtz asked agency leaders in Springfield, “I think that these are really important gaps to close.”

Gov. Pritzker signed several proposals into law last month aimed at addressing the issues DCFS has faced, including several rules for reporting child abuse and for child welfare referrals.

Sheridan Swathwood

Sheridan Swathwood

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