The Department of Children and Family Services released a timeline of the agency's involvement with 4-year-old Tate Thurman's family before his death. This comes after WCBU ran a story about the agency's silence on the East Peoria case. 

Illinois DCFS

Cook County Public Guardian Charles Golbert said DCFS isn't being transparent about its potential involvement with the family of a 4-year-old East Peoria boy who died last month. 

Tim Shelley / WCBU

Authorities say 4-year-old Tate Thurman of East Peoria died from multiple blunt force trauma inflicted by his father's girlfriend. 

Illinois DCFS

Five-year-old Jeremiah Wilson went for a swim at the pool on a summer afternoon last June. 

The Illinois Department of Children and Family Services was involved in a 9-year-old Goodfield boy's livelihood 14 times since his birth.

Staff / WGLT

A Central Illinois lawmaker said he’s encouraged by first steps taken by the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) and the its director’s pledge to “re-focus on safety.”

Chicago Lakeshore Hospital

CHICAGO - The Illinois Department of Children and Family Services has temporarily stopped placing foster children in a Chicago psychiatric hospital where allegations of abuse have arisen.

Illinois lawmakers are considering legislation to better protect state workers in vulnerable jobs after the death of a child-welfare worker was beaten last fall.

State officials say an Illinois Department of Children and Family Services worker has died who was severely beaten while trying to take protective custody of a child.

DCFS Ends Predictive Program

Dec 6, 2017

  The Illinois Department of Children and Family Services will no longer use a program aimed at identifying children at risk. The $366,000 data mining program looks for children at risk for serious injury or death. The termination of the program comes after the DCFS director called the technology unreliable.

Director Beverly Walker says the agency is suspending use of the Rapid Safety Feedback program because it "didn't seem to be predicting much." The department is now seeking to change the way it indexes and links investigations.

State investigators say the former head of the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services improperly awarded a no-bid contract to a person with whom he co-owned property. 

Wikimedia Commons

CHICAGO (AP) - A progress report filed in federal court shows that Illinois' child welfare agency has slowly made "incremental" improvements, but concerns linger about the impact of the state's budget impasse and a "revolving door" of leadership. 

Testimonies at a legislative hearing have revealed investigators with Illinois' child welfare agency face high caseloads and feel pressured to quickly wrap up abuse investigations.  A panel of experts and lawmakers spoke about issues at the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services.

Department of Children and Family Services Director George Sheldon says he's considering a major change in the way the agency conducts abuse and neglect investigations.  Sheldon says investigators could benefit from access to records of past unproven allegations.

An Illinois judge is demanding to know what state child care workers did to help the family of a 1-year-old girl who was found dead in their home. Will County Circuit Judge Paula Gomora made the request Tuesday during a hearing to determine where to place the deceased girl's three older brothers.


Willjay / Wikimedia Commons

NORMAL, Ill. (AP) - Illinois State University is establishing a new academy to help youth in foster care prepare for and graduate from college. 

The University of Illinois Springfield and the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services announced the launch of a new training academy last week.  The Child Protection Training Academy, created through a partnership between the university and DCFS, will be the first of its kind in the country.

A federal judge has approved an improvement plan for Illinois' child welfare agency that includes reforms for helping children with psychological, emotional and behavioral problems.   The state agency has been under scrutiny for conditions at residential treatment facilities. One goal addressed in the plan is reducing the time young people stay at the facilities.

A record number of youth have been killed while in the care of Illinois' Department of Children and Family Services, many of them victims of Chicago's gang violence.  11 youths died during a two-year period that ended June 30, 2015. 

A state audit finds children in the care of Illinois' welfare system are being housed in psychiatric hospitals and shelters hundreds of days longer than necessary because of the difficulty of finding placements in foster care.

DCFS Not Tracking Child Placement Data

Sep 8, 2016
garryknight / Flickr/Creative Commons

A new audit of Illinois’ child welfare system shows the state’s long-troubled Department of Children and Family Services is not tracking some basic data about where children are being placed.  Every year DCFS leaves kids in places where they shouldn’t be.

Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner has signed an executive order banning the state from calling children under its care wards and instead instructing they be called "youth in care."  Rauner signed the order this afternoon at the Illinois State Fair. It says the change is necessary because referring to foster children as wards make them "feel they are part of a bureaucracy instead of a family." 

CHICAGO (AP) - State officials say the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services lost out on millions of dollars in federal money in recent years because it failed to process paperwork.

Agency Acting Director George Sheldon estimates the agency likely missed out on about $40 million in federal funds in just the past two years. He says after a months-long bureaucratic effort to fix the lapses, $21.5 million in new federal funds flowed to the agency this fiscal year.

The state of Illinois is asking for the public's help in cracking down on child human trafficking.  The Illinois Department of Children and Family Services says trafficking of children for sex occurs throughout Illinois. The department says it has investigated more than 600 allegations of the crime in Illinois since 2011. 

Illinois' troubled child welfare agency must outline a detailed plan to make improvements at residential treatment centers and in other areas by February 2016 under a federal court agreement. 

The Illinois Department of Children and Family Services is trying to avoid oversight by a court-appointed monitor.  Attorneys representing DCFS and the American Civil Liberties Union were in federal court today for the first time since a mandated assessment recommended independent oversight.

ACLU of Illinois

An attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union says he’s hopeful Illinois’ troubled child welfare system will make some big changes.

The ACLU’s Ben Wolf is at the center of an ongoing class action lawsuit over how the Department of Children and Family Services treats kids in its care.

“For children with behavioral and psychological challenges, there just aren’t the services they need, and the result of that is they’re left languishing in correctional centers and shelters and all sorts of places that just aren’t the right place to spend your childhood,” Wolf said.

State DCFS caught in budget battle

Jul 13, 2015

Illinois’ child welfare workers are getting caught up in the ongoing budget stalemate in Springfield.  

The head of Illinois’ child welfare agency says he’s trying to find ways to get around budget cuts proposed by Governor Bruce Rauner.  

DCFS scholarship program in danger of being cut

Apr 28, 2015
Peoria Public Radio

The director of Illlinois’ child welfare system is praising a former ward who got a college scholarship through the state. But that program may be cut.