SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois Senate Subcommittee on Children and Family discussed improvements to the Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS).
They passed Senate Bill 106, which could require DCFS to submit annual reports to lawmakers documenting the placement of children; specifically kids hospitalized or those placed in psychiatric facilities.
Danielle Gomez, Supervising Attorney with the Office of the Cook County Public Guardian, explained some children wait weeks in hospital beds before placement.
“Hospital emergency rooms are not designed to deal with psychiatric crises,” Gomez said. “Those youth are frequently subjected to chemical and mechanical restraints while they’re there.”
Gomez said the bill could also require DCFS submit reports on children moved to out-of-state facilities. She explained Illinois only placed seven kids in neighboring states’ care facilities in 2006.
However, in fiscal year 2019, 96 kids became placed in these programs outside of Illinois.