Severin: DCFS Director Resignation Highlights Urgent Need to Protect Children in Care

BENTON – Illinois’ DCFS will have a new director in 2024. That’s according to State Rep. Dave Severin (R-Benton), who says the decision by long-time and embattled director Marc Smith to resign at the end of the year highlights the urgent need for reform at the agency.

“We’ve had an emergency on our hands at DCFS for years. A lack of accountability, bad management, lack of resources, and a lack of creative problem solving has left a stain on the agency and has left vulnerable children less safe,” Severin said. “The resignation of any one director won’t fix all the problems at DCFS, but a change at the top was necessary following recent audit findings that things just aren’t getting any better.”

Severin says Republicans have introduced legislation to help DCFS, families, and children.

“My colleagues on the Republican side have put in the necessary work and have sponsored multiple pieces of legislation that would clean up the agency, including measures that would allow case workers to carry mace to protect themselves in dangerous situations, enhance penalties for individuals that assault case workers, expand background checks on potential foster parents, and track cases and case loads electronically,” Severin said. “There’s no magic solution, this is going to take a comprehensive approach and a lot of work, and a lot of time. But, our kids deserve it. We need to get these reform ideas passed.”