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Morrison meets with new acting director of DCFS

morrison 062717SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Julie Morrison (D – Deerfield) met with new Acting Director of the Department of Children and Family Services Beverly Walker this afternoon during a hearing of the Senate Human Services Committee.

“Today’s hearing gave members of the Senate the opportunity to learn about Director Walker’s background and her ideas for bringing lasting change to DCFS,” Morrison said. “As seen by today’s high level of interest from Senators on both sides of the aisle, the Senate is committed to working with Acting Director Walker to address the monumental challenges facing this troubled agency.”

 

On Friday, Walker was named acting director of DCFS by Governor Rauner. Earlier this month, former Director George Sheldon resigned amid a series of high-profile failures at the troubled state agency.

In late April, 17-month-old Semaj Crosby was found dead after DCFS had visited her Joliet-area home just days before. Recent reports of the death of a 7-year-old girl whose body was dumped in an abandoned Metro-East garage are also raising concerns about the ability of the state to protect kids whose lives are in danger.  

“Recent reports of mismanagement and failure show there is something terribly wrong going on within DCFS,” Morrison said. “It is imperative we determine where this agency is failing and what we can do to ensure the safety and security of children throughout Illinois.”

Morrison has announced plans to hold a series of hearings in response to continued failures at DCFS. The first of these hearings is set to be held in late July.

Morrison, who is chairwoman of the Senate Human Services Committee, has been working since first being elected on a number of initiatives that would help turn around the troubled agency. She has worked to decrease temporary placements, address abuse and assaults at residential treatment centers, and increase the role of the court system in keeping children safe.