A lack of money and staff may be partially to blame for reports of young people being sexually abused at facilities run by the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services, according to the outgoing director. Illinois DCFS Acting Director Bobbie Gregg claims the department doesn’t have the resources to quickly analyze data from its residential treatment facilities, where most of the abuse is said to have taken place. According to Gregg, there often aren’t DCFS monitors present at these facilities outside of announced or unannounced visits.
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“If there is a special need, we will assign staff to be on premises either 24 hours a day or something less than that, depending on the circumstances,” Gregg testified at a legislative hearing Wednesday. “But that is not the regular practice.”
In her testimony, Gregg called the abuse “unacceptable,” but said it’s a sign of deeper, systemic problems within DCFS due to underfunding and high employee turnover.
Problems with turnover include the director’s position. Gregg is the seventh DCFS director in the past three years, and she’ll be leaving on Jan. 19 to make way for an appointee selected by the new governor.