SPRINGFIELD — Continuing her commitment to advancing the safety of children and families across the state, State Senator Julie Morrison supported a new online data dashboard being implemented by the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services to foster enhanced transparency and accountability from the agency.
“An independent, third-party look into the organization and structure of DCFS is long overdue, said Morrison (D-Lake Forest). “We owe it to the children served in this long-troubled agency to take a serious look at how the agency can improve.”
The new Illinois Child Welfare Insights Tool ensures advocates and families are given access to near real-time information on the number of reports of abuse and neglect filed and responded to by the agency, percentages of youth under the care of agency medical teams and development programs, and reports covering the frequency of caseworkers meeting with families served by the department.
DCFS is also collaborating with the University of Kentucky and leaders at Northwestern University and the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign to conduct a focused study of the department’s Child Protection Services. The study is intended to improve the department’s framework by conducting a thorough systems review of child protection operations and developing a report that provides critical findings and recommendations for advancement.
“I appreciate the governor’s office for working with the University of Kentucky to ensure the study is done in such a way that does not allow for interference from those bogged down by political policy and procedure,” Morrison added.
The study is anticipated to conclude after 24 months with guidance from a Saftey Science framework – a framework common to other safety critical industries – and from an advisory board of 13 national leaders and child welfare experts that can advocate for each issue in the child welfare system.
Data on the new dashboard is updated daily and can be reviewed at DCFS’ website.