SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – Taking a stand as an advocate for vulnerable children, state Rep. Sue Scherer, D-Decatur, passed legislation out of the House last week that would allow individuals with a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice to become certified as Child Protective Investigators with the Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS).
“Those with criminal justice backgrounds are often well-equipped to investigate cases of abuse, neglect or violence,” Scherer said. “This bill would allow them to work as DCFS caseworkers, filling a crucial role where understaffing can make the difference between life and death for a child.”
Current law requires Child Protective Investigators to have a bachelor’s degree in law enforcement, police science, criminology, social work, early childhood development or psychology. Scherer’s House Bill 3959 includes criminal justice as an accepted degree for certification as a Child Protective Investigator, widening eligibility standards to help DCFS fill critical vacancies to better safeguard children.
“We need to make sure we are casting a wider net to attract and certify professionals from diverse backgrounds to address the child welfare issues we continue to face,” Scherer said. “The safety and security of our vulnerable children must be a top priority.”
Scherer’s House Bill 3959 passed the House with bipartisan support last week and has moved to the Senate for further consideration.
For additional information, local residents are encouraged to contact Scherer’s district office at (217) 877-9639 or firstname.lastname@example.org.