Illinois State Representative Tom Weber issued remarks on how the Department of Children and Family Services is failing America’s most vulnerable foster children. Representative Weber, in an emotional speech told the House GOP that this is not his first time to address these issues and it will not be his last unless “meaningful changes” are made.
“In the department of children and family services, since i was last before you, two more babies have suffered high-profile DCFS tragedies. Sofia Faye Davis and Zaraz Walker, DCFS was aware of allegations that put both children in danger, but once again did nothing,” Representative Walker stated. “We as a state didn’t just fail Sophia, we failed her mother, Cassie Needham, a mother who asked for a safety plan from DCFS and was instead told her concerns were unfounded”.
“Cassie said that the system failed me, and she is right. The system is woefully broken. Zaraz Walker’s body has still not been found. When DCF has multiple run-ins with the mother, then they still determine concerns to be unfounded and walk away from a child in need,” Weber said.
“Folks, we are failing them, babies with broken bodies and doctors raising red flags one after another and still cases labeled unfounded.”
Representative Weber said that he is not blaming frontline workers because the Department of Children and Family Services is broken from the top, and that as a grandfather and father, it angers him.
He went on to say that although the Director of DCF has received hundreds of millions in additional funding that it is clear that more money does not equal better results. Deaths of children in state care are on the rise, and “It’s been three years, we have not seen tangible signs of progress, only more problems and more excuses”.
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