Capitol Fax.com - Your Illinois News Radar » Pritzker “outraged” over “gross mistakes” by “irresponsible” DCFS contractor: “These children are our children”
SUBSCRIBE to Capitol Fax      Advertise Here      Mobile Version     Exclusive Subscriber Content     Updated Posts    Contact
CapitolFax.com
To subscribe to Capitol Fax, click here.
Pritzker “outraged” over “gross mistakes” by “irresponsible” DCFS contractor: “These children are our children”

Friday, Mar 22, 2019

* Background is here if you need it. Gov. JB Pritzker was asked today at an unrelated event about the apparent murder of 2-year-old Ja’hir Gibbons by her mother’s boyfriend. The child was supposed to be under the protection of DCFS

First, let me say that this is a tragedy. A tragedy that could be prevented. But, as you have seen, when you don’t invest in caseworkers, when you don’t invest in reducing the case load, when you don’t invest in the social services that are so necessary for the families, and you’re not recruiting foster parents enough, then you’ve got a system that’s overloaded and where children can fall through the cracks.

Now, the additional issue here is that there’s an individual and an agency that have made gross mistakes. And the investigation that’s ongoing now is intended to make transparent what those challenges were and how we should address them.

In terms of how I am going forward, not just on this case and on the previous case that were a result of this underfunding and the terrible condition that the state agencies have been left in, hollowed out, is I’ve tried to put back into the budget in the coming year 126 new DCFS case workers, so that we can reduce the case backlog and we can make sure we’ve got fewer cases being handled by any individual in DCFS.

And then we’ve got to look into the agencies that are being handed cases to follow to make sure that there’s oversight and that we don’t have contracts with agencies that are not following through on their responsibilities.

The safety and security of children under the care of the state of Illinois is paramount to me. These are the most at-risk of the most at-risk kids. The kids who need us to watch everything for them, to keep them safe. And that’s going to be my responsibility, that is what my responsibility is today.

I spent 20 years, more than that now, in early childhood focused on at-risk kids. And I just feel that the state for too many years, with 12 agency heads over 10 years, the turnover has been terrible. And add to that the underfunding, the lack of resources that came from two years of a budget crisis and two more budgets that really didn’t put it back. We have got to make a big change in the way state government treats our children. And it’s not just those kids who need foster care and who need to be watched by DCFS, but also in everything that effects the families. Job availability, skills training, the social services that they need. And that’s what I’m focused on.

* Pritzker was then asked how these ongoing DCFS tragedies made him feel as a father, or as a person

I’m outraged. I’m outraged first that the children have this situation where they have no parent who can responsibly care for them. Then the situation of they’re left in the care of the state of Illinois and for years, neglected.

And here we have people who are responsible being irresponsible. Maybe even filing false reports.

These children are our children, they are our state’s children. And we should be standing up for them like we do for our own children.

He talks a very good talk. Better than any governor I’ve ever covered when it comes to this particular topic. But talking is just… talk. We’ll see how he governs as the months go by.

* Back to Pritzker

I have met with caseworkers just in the last couple of weeks. They are inundated. They have got cases that they almost can’t manage. They are doing the very best that they can. The people that I spoke with are working overtime, they’re doing everything that they can with fewer resources than ever before.

* He said other governors tell him this is the most challenging thing that governors do and said the private agency that handled Ja’hir Gibbons’ case is now “under review”

Agencies that are not fulfilling on their responsibility, on their contractual responsibility, on their moral responsibility, on their legal responsibility will not get contracts with DCFS going forward. […]

It is intolerable to me that someone is able to file a false report, is able to change a report after they’ve already reported on a situation to go back and try and change it, to cover their tracks. And that’s something that we’ve got to go back and look at all of the files to make sure we’re finding where anybody has ever done that… We have got to make changes in the way we oversee these agencies, these outside agencies.

* Meanwhile, DCFS issued a timeline about its own involvement in the case. Click here for that.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

No Comments

Be the first to comment.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


* Reader comments closed for the weekend
* It's just a bill
* Question of the day
* Energy News: Local Governments To Miss Out On $222 Million in potential tax revenue
* White, rural and suburban enrollment plummets at WIU
* 40,686 K-12 students in Illinois not vaccinated for measles
* Circular firing squad escalates: Rep. McSweeney calls on Leader Durkin to resign
* Audit: Department of Insurance not examining troubled local pension funds
* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Fundraiser list
* Raoul turns up the heat on bus company
* New tollway director, ICC chair named
* Courts go back and forth over hospital closure
* *Yoink*
* Our sorry state
* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Today's edition of Capitol Fax (use all CAPS in password)
* *** LIVE COVERAGE ***
* Yesterday's stories

Support CapitolFax.com
Visit our advertisers...

...............

...............

...............

...............

...............

...............

...............

...............
<


Loading


Main Menu
Home
Illinois
YouTube
Pundit rankings
Obama
Subscriber Content
Durbin
Burris
Blagojevich Trial
Advertising
Updated Posts
Polls

Archives
April 2019
March 2019
February 2019
January 2019
December 2018
November 2018
October 2018
September 2018
August 2018
July 2018
June 2018
May 2018
April 2018
March 2018
February 2018
January 2018
December 2017
November 2017
October 2017
September 2017
August 2017
July 2017
June 2017
May 2017
April 2017
March 2017
February 2017
January 2017
December 2016
November 2016
October 2016
September 2016
August 2016
July 2016
June 2016
May 2016
April 2016
March 2016
February 2016
January 2016
December 2015
November 2015
October 2015
September 2015
August 2015
July 2015
June 2015
May 2015
April 2015
March 2015
February 2015
January 2015
December 2014
November 2014
October 2014
September 2014
August 2014
July 2014
June 2014
May 2014
April 2014
March 2014
February 2014
January 2014
December 2013
November 2013
October 2013
September 2013
August 2013
July 2013
June 2013
May 2013
April 2013
March 2013
February 2013
January 2013
December 2012
November 2012
October 2012
September 2012
August 2012
July 2012
June 2012
May 2012
April 2012
March 2012
February 2012
January 2012
December 2011
November 2011
October 2011
September 2011
August 2011
July 2011
June 2011
May 2011
April 2011
March 2011
February 2011
January 2011
December 2010
November 2010
October 2010
September 2010
August 2010
July 2010
June 2010
May 2010
April 2010
March 2010
February 2010
January 2010
December 2009
November 2009
October 2009
September 2009
August 2009
July 2009
June 2009
May 2009
April 2009
March 2009
February 2009
January 2009
December 2008
November 2008
October 2008
September 2008
August 2008
July 2008
June 2008
May 2008
April 2008
March 2008
February 2008
January 2008
December 2007
November 2007
October 2007
September 2007
August 2007
July 2007
June 2007
May 2007
April 2007
March 2007
February 2007
January 2007
December 2006
November 2006
October 2006
September 2006
August 2006
July 2006
June 2006
May 2006
April 2006
March 2006
February 2006
January 2006
December 2005
April 2005
March 2005
February 2005
January 2005
December 2004
November 2004
October 2004

Blog*Spot Archives
November 2005
October 2005
September 2005
August 2005
July 2005
June 2005
May 2005

Syndication

RSS Feed 2.0
Comments RSS 2.0
WordPress




Hosted by MCS SUBSCRIBE to Capitol Fax Advertise Here Mobile Version Contact Rich Miller