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Monday, 24 September 2012

My attention was arrested by these beautiful faces taking over half the front page of the Sunday Chicago Tribune. I didn't need to read the headline to know it was not a happy story. Hubby told me not to read it because it would just upset me. I proceeded anyway. 'How DCFS Failed These Kids' proved more than a sad story, more than eight sad stories. It showed that the Department of Children and Family Services is so overtaxed, understaffed and badly trained that the Inspector General said the workers don't know when it is appropriate to divulge personal and confidential family history that could prevent further abuse or ameliorate the child's situation.

These stories detailed how there were family members in most cases that could have taken in these innocents and made a better environment: aunts and cousins and grandparents. Unfortunately, the caseworkers in charge figured it was easier and faster to falsify care plans and mental health reports, home visits and interviews than actually look out for the well-being of those children left under their jurisdiction.

Reading all these stories made me wonder how a system put into place for the safety of children has ended up being the indirect reason many of them didn't see their next birthday.

Most devastating of all was the case of infant Daniel. He was born with drugs in his system to a drug-addicted mom. Six weeks later he was dead due to causes unknown. His grandfather wonders why the hospital didn't keep the infant to protect and care for him. The mother, obviously incapable of taking care of her newborn, was dead a few months later as well.  

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