SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – Following the death of 16 month-old Semaj Crosby less than a day and a half after case workers from the Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) visited the Joliet home where she lived, state Rep. Stephanie Kifowit, D-Oswego, is backing legislation requiring a full investigation into DCFS’ practices to prevent future tragedies.

“Semaj Crosby should be alive today, but the system and our state failed to save her,” Kifowit said. “We must take action immediately to ensure we are doing everything we can to prevent innocent children from dying.”

Kifowit’s House Resolution 418 directs the Auditor General to conduct a performance audit on the Department of Children and Family Services to review and assess DCFS protocols for investigating reports of child abuse and neglect. The audit would include a review of each abuse and neglect investigation conducted by DCFS within the past 5 years, and investigate how long it took for DCFS investigators to complete cases and what their findings were, among other items. The goal of Kifowit’s legislation is to uncover weaknesses in the current DCFS system and use these findings to improve the way the State of Illinois investigates child abuse and neglect. Reports have surfaced that the Joliet DCFS office which visited Crosby’s home held competitions where investigators would be awarded gift cards for closing the most cases.

“There have been far too many cases where children have slipped through the cracks of the DCFS system, and it has ended up costing them their lives,” Kifowit said. “This measure is the first step to begin repairing the way we care for all of our children in need.”

Rep Stephanie KifowitRep Stephanie Kifowit

84th District

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