Illinois General Assembly - Full Text of HR0038
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Full Text of HR0038  103rd General Assembly




HR0038LRB103 28867 ECR 55252 r


2    WHEREAS, The Department of Children and Family Services
3(the Department) (DCFS) is the sole agency responsible for
4receiving and investigating reports of child abuse or neglect
5made under the Abused and Neglected Child Reporting Act; and
6    WHEREAS, As of the end of fiscal year 2022, the Department
7had conducted 97,400 investigations serving 22,911 youth; and
8    WHEREAS, In fiscal year 2022, 171 children died after
9involvement with the Department, a 40% increase over the
10previous year; while this does not imply causation on the part
11of the Department, it does imply that the Department's efforts
12to prevent the death of children are not sufficient; and
13    WHEREAS, The projected budget of the Department for fiscal
14year 2023 is $1.8 billion; and
15    WHEREAS, Since the establishment of the Office of
16Inspector General (OIG) in 1993, the annual reports issued by
17the Inspector General have catalogued a consistent pattern of
18Departmental failures that unfortunately have contributed,
19through lack of action and negligence, to the deaths of
20hundreds of children in DCFS care over that period of time; and



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1    WHEREAS, In her 1995 report, the OIG observed that "the
2prevalent over-emphasis on Department rules and procedures
3perpetuates the Department's isolation and fosters the belief
4that only Department employees are responsible for the
5well-being of children in Illinois. A more useful analysis
6considers whether practices should be changed so that
7Department employees, working with individuals from other
8disciplines, would be able to pinpoint situations in which
9death is a possibility or likelihood. By identifying the
10characteristics that have led to a death in the past and by
11utilizing the experiences of a variety of professionals,
12department employees will be in a better position to prevent
13future deaths."; and
14    WHEREAS, In her 2022 Annual Report, the Department's
15Office of the Inspector General identified a systemic pattern
16of negligence in mandated child protection investigations in
17which there were significant delays in making initial contact
18with alleged child victims of abuse or neglect; in these
19cases, the Department failed to fulfill an essential
20responsibility in protecting children; and
21    WHEREAS, The Inspector General noted that several
22investigations conducted this year highlight the critical need
23for communication and collaboration among multiple entities;



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1    WHEREAS, From the above, it is apparent that shortcomings
2that were noted 27 years ago are still present in the
3Department; the result of this is the unfortunate litany of
4the deaths of children who are in the care of and are the
5responsibility of the Department; therefore, be it
8it is our position that the time is long past for systemic
9changes to be made to the Department of Children and Family
10Services so that it can fulfill its mission to protect
11children and prevent the ongoing tragedy of child abuse and
12neglect that confronts us every year; and be it further
13    RESOLVED, That we call upon the Governor and the executive
14branch as well as the Department of Children and Family
15Services to cooperate in every way that they can to assure that
16these changes will be made.