SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – Continuing to protect some of the state’s most vulnerable residents, state Rep. Stephanie Kifowit, D-Aurora, has recently joined the Child Welfare Caucus, which was established earlier last week in response to the tragic deaths of children who were in contact with the Department of Child And Family Services (DCFS). Representative Kifowit is also a member of the Child Welfare and Adoption committee, which is currently holding hearings on the operations of DCFS.
“The Department must do all it can to protect these children, and as a state we have failed them. When it comes to protecting children’s welfare, we must hold DCFS accountable,” said Kifowit. “The newly formed caucus will make the necessary reforms we need in DCFS to help the department run more efficiently and provide better care for our children.”
The Child Welfare Caucus intends to spearhead legislation to make reforms at the Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS). The push for the reforms comes as a state audit suggests that problems at DCFS got dramatically worse during the state budget stalemate.
The issued review focuses on the agency’s investigative practices from 2015 – 2017. The audit shows that while abuse and neglect complaints increased over 11 percent, the hotline regularly forwarded callers to voicemail more than half the time and caseloads of investigators exceeded limits set by a federal consent decree. Additionally, there was a lack of documentation showing there were proper social services provided for families temporarily caring for children in DCFS custody.
“It is unacceptable that our children have suffered the most from the budget impasse,” said Kifowit. “We need to work together to make the appropriate changes that will help the department become more modern and provide the correct care for our children.”
Visit Rep Kifowit’s website
200-1S Stratton Office Building
Springfield, IL 62706
1677 Montgomery Rd.
Aurora, IL 60504
(630) 585-1357 FAX