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Cook County Public Guardian issues scathing report accusing DCFS of failing to protect children

CHICAGO (CBS) -- A scathing new court filing details the state's child welfare system failing the children the organization is supposed to be protecting.

Cook County Public Guardian Charles Golbert submitted 12 pages Monday of what he calls systemic failures by the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services.

BH v Smith - Juy 11 2022 by Adam Harrington on Scribd

Among the issues are children being stuck in psychiatric hospitals long after they are ready to be released.

The ongoing failure to place children appropriately has led to DCFS Director Marc Smith being held in contempt of court 12 times since January.

Even worse, Golbert describes children being killed despite DCFS being involved with their families.

Since December, eight children have died. One was Amaria Osby, 8, who was killed by her mother Just hours after DCFS was at their Uptown neighborhood home.

Golbert lays out the department's failure to be transparent after Osby's death, and writes that a shortage of investigators continues to be a significant issue.

He also cites a 33 percent recurrence rate of DCFS investigations involving the same family or child, which he wrote "indicates that DCFS' services are failing to help families and children."

Golbert further accuses DCFS of a lack of accountability and transparency on the part of DCFS. He returned to the Amaria Obsy case with regard to the transparency issue – noting that DCFS received a report of a risk of harm to Amaria that it didn't act on for two months, by which point Amaria was dead.

The document was filed as part of a consent decree mandating reforms, which DCFS has been under for more than 30 years.  

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