Audit: Illinois child-welfare agency falters while abuse claims jump

An audit found that there was an 11% increase in child-abuse and -neglect investigations from 2015 to 2017 in Illinois.

Posted: May 7, 2019 5:05 PM

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — An audit found that there was an 11% increase in child-abuse and -neglect investigations from 2015 to 2017 in Illinois.

That's while the state’s timeliness in responding to complaints and in completing investigations slowed and investigators’ caseloads violated a federal consent decree.

The review of the Department of Children and Family Services released Tuesday by Auditor General Frank Mautino made 13 recommendations for improvement. It covered the period from 2015 to 2017 but DCFS is again facing withering criticism for its role in the deaths of three children since January.

Lawmakers ordered the audit after the May 2017 death of 16-month-old Semaj Crosby of Joliet and after media reports of abuse in foster care suffered by Laquan McDonald. A Chicago police officer fatally shot the unarmed black teen in fall 2014.

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