“I know that was two years ago now, but a lot of psychiatric hospitals still have a sour taste in their mouth about that,” he said.
The letter also notes a severe shortage of licensed foster homes or residential group facilities to house foster children, forcing DCFS to place children in unlicensed “welcome centers” where caseworkers for the children must be assigned to supervise the children around the clock.
Although the welcome centers are often located within a licensed residential facility, such as a group home, those facilities take no responsibility for the children in the welcome centers.
“These welcome centers are basically offices with a cot,” Golbert said. “No therapeutic program, no services, no activities, no programming, no nothing. The kids sit around and watch TV and they’re supervised by DCFS workers because, basically, they’re just offices. They’re in existing residential placements but the residential placements have no responsibility for these kids.”
As of June 30, 2020, according to DCFS, there were just over 21,000 youth in DCFS custody.
In an email statement, DCFS said it was working aggressively to address what it called “the decades-long challenge of a lack of community resources and facilities for children, especially those with complex behavioral health needs.”
Region: Bloomington,Feeds,News,City: Bloomington,Region: Central
March 9, 2021 at 04:09PM