‘Numbers don’t lie’: After a 10th child on the DCFS radar dies in the last 9 months, lawmakers demand changes

CHICAGO (CBS) — CBS 2 has realized one other child on the radar of the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) has died.

He’s the 10th child in 9 months. CBS 2’s Chris Tye has uncovered what lawmakers name a disaster inside the division tasked with caring for the state’s most weak.

Joel Watts was 12. He liked to cook dinner and dance on TikTok and was referred to as Cuco to his household. His physique was faraway from the household’s residence in Chicago’s Fernwood neighborhood August nineteenth, making him the 10th child on the radar of the state’s child welfare office to die in the last 9 months

“At what point is enough is enough? Obviously, whatever they are doing isn’t working.”

Illinois State Representative Fred Crespo (D-44) heads the audit fee that oversees DCFS. In July, he pressed DCFS Director Marc Smith on the demise of the youngsters.

“He looked at me and did not give me an answer. And here we are today. Month and a half and two months later and that number is 10.  Numbers don’t lie,” Crespo stated.


Illinois State Senator Chapin Rose (R-51) can be on the DCFS oversight fee.

He stated DCFS covers an excessive amount of: from youngsters in hazard to licensing child care amenities. He argues any obligation not associated to holding youngsters like Joel alive must be taken off their plate.

“It needs to be completely restructured in terms of its duties, management functions and certainly in terms of its personnel,” Rose stated.

DCFS stated the last time there was a report of neglect or abuse of Joel was 5 years in the past. DCFS is working along with his household to verify his siblings are protected.

It’s a division that is been suffering from issues beneath Democrat and Republican governors. Governor JB Pritzker continues to assist the DCFS director whose been held in contempt of court docket 12 occasions. They have an annual finances of over $1.5 billion.

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