“Children will suffer, reform efforts will be stalled, there’s no way around that.”
Jordan Elder of WICS ABC Newschannel 20 in Springfield has a report about DCFS’s dangerous staffing shortages at every level of the organization. At the top level, DCFS is facing an unprecedented number of retirements that will leave a quarter of its 40 top executive positions vacant. In terms of front-line investigators, this year DCFS asked the federal court in the B.H. case for yet another 3-year extension to comply with the caseload standards under a 30-year-old consent decree. And DCFS is also experiencing mid-level staff shortages.
DCFS is struggling to fill all of these positions. This comes at a time when DCFS’s rate of child maltreatment is more than twice the national norm and continues to trend in the wrong direction. This comes at a time when DCFS is experiencing a crisis-level shortage of placements. This comes when, for the first time since the 1990s, DCFS is forcing its children to live in offices. And this comes at a time when DCFS has a severe lack of community-based services for its children.
These problems will only continue to get worse, and DCFS's reform efforts will continue to stagnate, until DCFS hires the staff it needs. You can read or watch Elder’s report here:
Between retirements and recruitment issues, staffing shortages continue to plague the Department of Children and Family Services. But this staffing problem isn’t new. In fact, a 30-year-old court order demanded DCFS hire more case workers. The agency hasn’t hit the ratio required in the....