The independent student newspaper at the University of Illinois since 1871

The Daily Illini

The independent student newspaper at the University of Illinois since 1871

The Daily Illini

The independent student newspaper at the University of Illinois since 1871

The Daily Illini

The independent student newspaper at the University of Illinois since 1871

The Daily Illini

Illinois DCFS director announces resignation

On Wednesday, Marc Smith, director of the Illinois Department of Child and Family Services, announced he will be stepping down at the end of the year. Since January, Smith has been held in contempt of court over a dozen times by a Cook County judge after failing to provide timely care for children placed in the department’s custody. 

Several accusations have been made against the Illinois DCFS, including class action claims that the department allowed innocent children to be kept behind bars due to inadequate housing.

Janiah Caine is one of these wrongfully incarcerated children and spent 166 days in Cook County’s Juvenile Detention Center, despite a judge having ordered her release. She is part of a class action lawsuit that was filed against the DCFS in January.

Furthermore, according to the Cook County Public Guardian, eight children have died from December 2022 to July 2023 under the department’s watch. 

In response to Smith’s decision, Illinois Sen. Chapin Rose released a statement, stating “the incompetence of this director and Governor Pritzker’s failure to replace him long ago is breathtaking.”

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    Rose also acknowledged the harmful impact that deep-rooted issues within the DCFS system can have on children. 

    Illinois Sen. Tom Bennett also issued a response, echoing Rose’s statement on the incompetence of the former director who left “our state’s most vulnerable children unprotected.” 

     

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