Governor Rauner Appoints New Head For Troubled State Agency



        The Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) (http://www.illinois.gov/dcfs/Pages/default.aspx) is the Illinois bureau in charge of providing services for challenged Illinois children and juveniles. Children under the Department’s jurisdiction include children undergoing adoption proceedings, children in foster care, and wards of the court.  A large subset of the children under DCFS’s jurisdiction are living in residential facilities designed for juveniles who need care and counseling. 

Starting in December 2014, the “Chicago Tribune” and other news organizations have uncovered extensive stories of disorder and alleged criminal acts in and associated with these facilities, including sexual assaults.  New leadership may be a part of the answer for this troubled agency.  On Friday, February 13, Governor Rauner asked George Sheldon (http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/watchdog/rtc/ct-legislation-harsh-treatment-met-20150213-story.html#page=1), the former secretary of the Florida Department of Children and Families, to lead Illinois’ DCFS. 


Praising the appointment, the “Miami Herald” calls Sheldon “Mr. Fix-It.”  (http://miamiherald.typepad.com/nakedpolitics/2015/02/chicago-tribune-george-sheldon-to-be-named-new-chief-of-illinois-dcf.html)  The Florida department has multimillion-dollar responsibilities comparable to DCFS, and Sheldon’s appointment will enable a leader with specific experience in this class of challenges to start working on solving the tangle of crises affecting this key agency.