The state’s Department of Children and Family Services is once again looking for a new director. DCFS now has its fourth director in the past four months with the resignation of the recently-appointed Arthur Bishop after it was revealed he had once pleaded guilty to misusing money meant for mental health patients. State Sen. Julie Morrison (D-Deerfield), who chairs the Senate’s subcommittee on DCFS, says the “revolving door” that began with the resignation of former director Richard Calica isn’t doing DCFS any favors.
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“It’s really hard for an agency to have any direction without somebody at the top who’s got some vision and the consistency,” Morrison said. “I think we’ve been lacking that unfortunately.” Calica resigned in November after being diagnosed with cancer. He died a month later. His chief of staff, Denise Gonzales, served as interim director until Bishop was appointed. She won’t be returning to that role, as the agency will instead be led by social worker Bobbie Gregg for the time being. Morrison says she hopes this search for a permanent director will include candidates from outside the state.