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New Problems for the Illinois DCFS

Posted on in Child Custody

Crying Toddler With Arm In CastIn Illinois, there has been an increase in the number of children who die due to abuse and neglect. For the fiscal year ending in June of 2013, the number of children who passed away from abuse and neglect was the highest it has been in 30 years.  The saddest news about this total is that some of these deaths may have been avoided. An Illinois Senate subcommittee has been questioning state officials from the Department of Child and Family Services about this steep increase.  Acting director of the DCFS, Denise Gonzales, admitted that over 100 children died due to mistreatment and ten more cases are still pending.  The average per year total has been around 75 for the last 30 years. About 75 percent of the deaths were caused by accidental suffocation from infants sleeping with blankets, or with their parents or on their stomachs. In the past these types of cases were only classified as neglect if the parents were under the influence of drugs or alcohol.  Now children who suffocate while sleeping are categorized as neglect cases if it can be proven that the parents knew about the dangers of letting children sleep on their stomachs or with blankets and other items. But it was also found that the DCFS in Illinois has been suffering from a larger caseload with a smaller staff.  Although a senator asked for the resignation of Gonzales, that might not happen.  Gonzales took over when the previous head of the DCFS resigned due to a terminal cancer diagnosis.  Gonzales is still dedicated to making the DCFS better by reducing caseloads, leaning out middle management and improving the hotline for reporting child neglect. The DCFS will continue to receive tips about possible abuse and neglect that is occurring in Illinois.  If you are summoned to juvenile court by the DCFS then it is important to be prepared.  The consequences may be losing care of your children or being placed under court supervision.  Contact a skilled family law attorney in Warrenville today to review your case.

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