Eight children have diedsince December while cases of neglect or abuse were under investigation by the Department of Children and Family Services.
The DCFS director has been held in contempt of court a dozen times since January for the agency's failures in properly caring for or protecting children.
The Illinois Department of Children and Family Services continues to get negative attention for how children under their watch are treated. A leading statehouse Republican wants answers. Pritzker has said his administration is working through the problems with bed availability for children in DCFS. He has also said they’re still working through problems he said were created under the previous administration. House Minority Leader Jim Durkin, R-Western Springs, said the governor has only given lip service to the problems as contempt of court charges stack up against the agency's director. “They treat a contempt of court citation as if it’s a jaywalking violation,” Durkin said. “This is just so wrong. These are children’s lives that are at stake. The governor likes to blame everyone else except his own agency. He takes no responsibility.” Since December, Durkin notes the DCFS director has been found in contempt a dozen times. Then there’s a recent audit Durkin said is devastating showing the department didn’t have proper records on 192 of 195 cases. “And that was a requirement under a law that J.B. Pritzker signed within the last two years so his agency is not even following the law that they had championed,” Durkin said.