This week, legislators had a chance to question DCFS officials on the Department’s proposed budget for Fiscal Year 2024 during a Senate Appropriations committee hearing. DCFS funding has increased over the past few years, culminating in an increase of $767 million since Fiscal Year 2018.
Despite this increase and the recent request during this week’s hearing for even more money, the number of child deaths under the agency’s radar has only increased in recent years. From Fiscal Years 2015 to 2018, an average of 100.5 children died per year, while from Fiscal Years 2018 to 2022, that number increased to 129.5 children. In 2022 alone, there were 171 deaths of children who met the criteria for an investigation by DCFS.
Although funding has increased, DCFS has still failed to improve their quality of care for these vulnerable children. Instead, the issue has only worsened over time. And this is not the only issue that DCFS has faced. In the past few years, the Director of DCFS has faced multiple contempt of court charges over child placements and the agency has been accused of mishandling numerous cases.
Despite these disturbing trends, the Governor refuses to change the agency’s leadership and instead continues to throw more money at the problem.

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