John Connor

Geoff Stellfox for Shaw Media


John Connor

State Rep. John Connor voiced his support for a bill meant to streamline the work of the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services. Gov. JB Pritzker recently signed it into law.

H.B. 831 requires DCFS to report any findings regarding suspected mistreatment of children to the Department of Public Health and the Department of Health and Family Services within 10 days of their discovery, according to a news release. The bill also removes a requirement that DCFS’ director has to approve the release of these records.

“Child abuse is a terrible tragedy, and we need to do everything we can to end it,” said Connor, D-Lockport. “People trained to prevent this need to be in constant contact in cases where children are being neglected or mistreated. Bureaucracy and procedural red tape cannot get in the way of taking care of kids.”

Connor said child abuse affects tens of thousands of children in Illinois every year. In 2018, an average of 222 child abuse reports were filed every day.

He pointed to the well-known example of the 2017 death of Sema’j Crosby in Joliet Township as an example of children in dangerous situations falling through the cracks.

“After attending a joint committee hearing into DCFS’ handling of the Sema’j Crosby case two years ago … it was clear that changes were needed,” Connor said.

State Sen. Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant, D-Shorewood, was a sponsor of the bill in the Illinois Senate.

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July 22, 2019 at 02:09PM