Illinois House Republicans demanding public hearings on DCFS issues

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SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WMBD) – Illinois House Republicans are demanding change at the state’s Department of Children and Family Services.

This comes as the department’s director Marc Smith was recently held in contempt of court. Smith was held in contempt for allegedly not meeting the needs of a 9-year-old girl and 13-year-old boy.

“These two children are certainly not the only ones failed by DCFS from the state of Illinois. As legislators we have heard repeated stories being left to linger in hospital beds when they no longer need the hospital care because DCFS did not have proper placement lined up for time of discharge,” said State Rep. Tony McCombie (R-Savanna).

During a virtual press conference on Thursday, lawmakers also referenced the death of 6-year-old Damari Perry and 36-year-old DCFS social worker Deidre Silas. Silas was stabbed to death when she responded to a call of possible endangerment of six children at a home in Thayer.

Republican state lawmakers said DCFS is failing the most vulnerable in Illinois. They are now requesting immediate public hearings to find out why.

“Our state is failing at the single most important job we have, the care of our children most vulnerable. So it is time that Democrats and Republicans join together in the general assembly to truly reform the failed policies of this agency,” said State Rep. Tom Weber (R-Fox Lake).

According to Weber, between 2010 and March of last year 1,120 children that had contact with DCFS have died.

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