Department of Children and Family Services

2:37 pm
Fri April 24, 2015

House Votes To Spare Foster Care Programs From Rauner Cuts

Gov. Bruce Rauner proposes cutting off some programs through the Department of Children and Family Services for young adults once they turn 18 years old.

A proposal to continue government services for young adults in foster care passed the Illinois House on Thursday. Some believe it's a foreshadowing of future budget negotiations.

The state currently provides educational assistance, job training and counseling for wards of the state aged 18 to 21. But Gov. Bruce Rauner didn't include those services in next year's proposed budget.

Rather than allow the cuts, the House passed House Bill 3507, which would guarantee the programs stay. Advocates say the young adults need certainty.

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5:11 am
Wed February 18, 2015

Kids Left Behind Bars

Credit WBEZ

There’s a kid locked up in the Cook County juvenile jail right now who isn’t supposed to be there.

It happens all the time.  Even after a judge has ordered their release…lots of kids wait weeks, even months to be picked up.   Before you get angry about deadbeat parents out there ….

The kids we’re talking about here are wards of the state of Illinois…and their guardian…the one leaving them in jail…is the Department of Children and Family Services or DCFS.

In just the past few years this has happened to hundreds of kids:

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2:36 pm
Fri February 13, 2015

Rauner Taps Florida Democrat To Head DCFS

George Sheldon
Credit wikipedia

Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner has selected a Florida Democrat to lead Illinois' troubled Department of Children and Family Services.
George Sheldon ran Florida's Department of Children and Families from 2008 to 2011. He's credited with expanding adoption opportunities for gays and lesbians, reducing the number of children in state custody and making state records more
easily accessible.
Sheldon also served as an assistant secretary for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services under President Barack Obama.

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9:00 am
Wed June 4, 2014

Juvenile Sex Trafficking Happening Here

Poster for Our Children Are Not For Sale awareness campaign.

When you hear about sex trafficking, often times what comes to mind is international smuggling of women. That may be happening, but there is also a problem of local teenagers getting used in sex trafficking within Illinois.

"Our Children Are Not For Sale" is the name of an awareness campaign to make people aware of what could be happening to homeless and runaway youth.   Bill Wheelhouse spoke with Stacy Sloan, Human Trafficking program manager at the Department of Children and Family Services.  She sheds some light on the issue.

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6:43 am
Thu February 27, 2014

DCFS Director Resigns After One Month

Arthur Bishop
Credit WBEZ

The director of the state's child welfare agency who pleaded guilty to stealing money from clients of a Chicago social-service agency 20 years ago has resigned from his post.  

Department of Children and Family Services Director Arthur Bishop submitted a letter of resignation to Gov. Pat Quinn's office Wednesday. The letter notes that his background could be a distraction for Quinn in the upcoming election.  

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11:00 am
Mon December 23, 2013

Former DCFS Director Calica Dies

Richard Calica

The former head of Illinois’ child welfare department died overnight.

Richard Calica resigned his position with the state Department of Children and Family Services last month.

He’d been diagnosed with cancer and had undergone surgery.  When he resigned - Governor Pat Quinn praised Calica for adding more than 100 child welfare investigators to the department.

Calica’s chief of staff took over the department on an interim basis when he resigned.

Calica was 67.

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10:04 am
Fri December 13, 2013

Hope Institute Says It Has Plan To Fix Issues


A Springfield facility that houses children and young adults with developmental disabilities says it has drawn up a plan to correct problems identified by state investigators.  

Illinois child welfare officials and Springfield police have been investigating allegations of abuse and neglect at Hope Institute for Children and Families since November. No details have been made public.  

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3:04 pm
Fri November 15, 2013

DCFS Director Resigns Due To Illness

Richard Calica
Credit DCFS

The director of the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services is to resign after a cancer diagnosis.  
Gov. Pat Quinn announced Friday afternoon that Richard Calica would leave the post. Calica's chief of staff

Denise Gonzales is to serve as the agency's acting director. 

Calica has held the post since December 2011. He said in a statement that working for the agency has been ``the most exciting and rewarding time of my career in child welfare.''

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Illinois Issues
12:00 am
Wed October 1, 2003

No Easy Job: Illinois' child welfare agency faces daunting challenges

When Bryan Samuels became director of the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services, he inherited an agency that looked to be on the upswing. The most hopeful sign: The number of state wards, which had reached 51,500 in 1997, has been sliced to some 20,000, thanks to a push for adoptions and subsidized guardianship.

That’s not to say that watching over the state’s most vulnerable children is getting easier. Or that it’s less difficult to run an agency that draws heavy media attention every time something goes awry. 

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