Digital Access

Digital Access
Access theherald-news.com from all your digital devices and receive breaking news and updates from around the area.

Home Delivery

Home Delivery
Local news, sports, business, classified and more! News you can use every day.

Text Alerts

Text Alerts
Choose your news! Select the text alerts you want to receive: breaking news, weather, and more.

Email Newsletters

Email Newsletters
Have our latest news, sports and obituaries emailed directly to you Monday through Friday so you can keep up with what's happening in the area.
The Holiday Gift Auction is Live! Click here and bid now on great local gifts!
Letters

Letter: Follow-up questions with new DCFS director

To the Editor:

Beverly Walker was appointed June 26 as the new director of the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services. The next day, I had the opportunity to ask her questions in a Senate Human Services Committee hearing. My four questions all stemmed from the April 27 death of Sema’j Crosby.

When I read the DCFS Quality Assurance Review of the agency’s involvement with Sema’j’s family, I wrote in the margins the names of Joliet-area non-profit organizations and units of local government that perhaps could have helped Sheri Gordon, Sema’j’s mother, had they been asked to do so.

Therefore, I asked Acting Director Walker if she believes local resources have a role to play in DCFS’ work.

“Yes,” she said. “We can’t do it alone.”

I mentioned the Chicago Tribune’s report of a seven-week delay in DCFS entering handwritten notes about visits to Sema’j’s home into the state’s case registry. Acting Director Walker emphasized that “What matters is what action is taken” after the notes are made.

The DCFS Quality Assurance Review concludes with nine recommendations for improvement.

Only one requires legislation. The other eight improvements require changes in DCFS procedures. I asked about implementation of those eight. Acting Director Walker replied that since this was only her second day on the job, she needs time to familiarize herself with the recommendations. The Senate Human Services Committee will hold a second hearing July 25.

Finally, I noted that before leaving Illinois, former DCFS Director George Sheldon had secured a pro bono analysis of DCFS “front-end services” by Casey Family Services of Seattle, WA. Acting Director Walker welcomes this analysis. She said she will speak to Casey Family Services this week.

Sincerely,

Pat McGuire, State Senator, District 43

Loading more