The new head of the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services says he’s taking steps to address last year’s reports of assaults at residential treatment centers. Those steps include moving kids away from that kind of care, which DCFS Director George Sheldon says isn’t a long-term solution, yet is used as one in Illinois. He also wants better data collection so the agency can react quickly to reports of abuse, and if a center can’t address those concerns, Sheldon says he will close facilities.
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“I know that may sound harsh, but if facilities aren’t providing care for children up to standards, there’s no reason for that facility to exist,” Sheldon said. “There are some excellent facilities out there that are performing well.”
Sheldon hopes to be able to show some quick progress in the department, as he feels some “early wins” are needed to restore public confidence in DFCS.