Subject:Department of Children and Family Services Failures
Source:Melissa Sanchez, Duaa Eldeib, Mick Dumke, Steve Mills
Affiliation:The Chicago Sun-Times, ProPublica Illinois
Date:June 20, 2019; July 18, 2019; August 29, 2019
The story revealed four decades of failures by the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services to serve Spanish-speaking families whose children enter the foster care system. In spite of a 1977 federal consent decree, the agency placed children in homes where their parents’ language wasn’t spoken and assigned caseworkers who didn’t speak Spanish to parents who weren’t proficient in English. The extent of the problem was impossible to know because of inaccuracies in agency data. Basic information about families, including their race, ethnicity and language preferences, was often unreliable and, in some instances, deliberately falsified by workers.