Whether George Sheldon is a superstar or is another name through the revolving door at the director’s office of the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services, we’ll know soon enough. He’s the governor’s choice to head DCFS, following stints in the corresponding job in Florida and as acting assistant secretary in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services from 2011 to 2013.
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DCFS has been a mess by almost any measure, and it’s Sheldon’s turn to find the secret to turning it around.
“It’s in trying to re-inspire the staff,” Sheldon says. “I won’t be doing the protective investigations. I won’t be doing the casework (myself). It’s the 2,600 people in this agency and our community partners who do that. What we have to say is, we respect you, we know this is hard work, and we are going to stand behind you.”
Sheldon, who five months ago was the losing candidate – a Democrat – for attorney general in Florida, awaits Illinois Senate confirmation.