Advocacy groups say child welfare agency’s progress is slow

CHICAGO — 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.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois and outside experts are monitoring progress the Department of Children and Family Services makes in areas, including helping children with psychological, emotional and behavioral problems. The 300-plus page report covers February through March. It’s part of a longtime consent decree aimed at improving care.

Attorneys met Tuesday for a court hearing about the report.

Outside experts worry improvements will be hindered if the impasse continues and by the resignation of George Sheldon, the sixth DCFS leader since 2013.

DCFS says it appreciates the monitors’ work and looks forward to collaborative efforts.

–Associated Press

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