House GOP: Bipartisan action needed to protect kids in DCFS system

CHICAGO – House Republicans today praised the scheduling of a hearing of the Human Services Committee for Wednesday, January 7 to receive testimony regarding documented abuse at DCFS Residential Facilities throughout the state. The hearing comes in response to a series of disturbing reports exposing cases of physical and sexual abuse of children in state custody; including exposure to drugs, acts of violence and forced prostitution.

Deputy House Minority Leader Patti Bellock (R-Hinsdale), the Republican Spokesperson on the Human Services Appropriations Committee, applauded legislative leaders for scheduling the upcoming hearing and stressed the need for an immediate response by DCFS officials.

"We absolutely must do a better job of protecting every child in the DCFS system and come up with remedies to prevent the exploitation and physical or sexual abuse of these kids,” Bellock said. “The safety of children must be our paramount priority. The current system is clearly failing too many kids and putting thousands at risk. I join Governor-elect Rauner’s call for a bipartisan response by the General Assembly to approve needed reforms with built-in accountability.”

The Human Services Committee hearing is scheduled to take place at 10:00am on Wednesday, January 7 at the Michael A. Bilandic Building. The facilities in question where documented abuse has occurred are contracted by the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services to provide supervision and therapy for youth who have suffered abuse and neglect or have serious behavioral and mental health issues.

“Accounts of the abuse that has gone unchecked in some Illinois youth facilities is an absolute tragedy,” added Rep. Bellock. “These children are put in state care to protect them from danger. One thing is clear: we need to make changes to ensure these children are cared for and protected moving forward without delay.”


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