Hernandez Passes Bill Aiming to Refine DCFS’ Mission, Improve Oversight

SPRINGFIELD, Ill.– The Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) is set to receive updated guidance and oversight under a bill passed by state Rep. Norma Hernandez, D-Melrose Park.

“We are all aware of the persistent and stubborn problems at DCFS,” Hernandez said. “We can’t fix those problems without putting the kids first, and that means getting them back in stable and supportive situations as quickly as possible. That’s why we’re starting at the foundations and working our way up. All the reforms and investment in the world won’t work if there’s confusion as to the basic mission.”

Hernandez’s House Bill 3705 stipulates that child welfare services are intended to be temporary and that the purpose of DCFS is to place children in suitable permanent family arrangements. It also clarifies the definition of “child welfare services”.

The bill passed the House with a large majority before passing the Senate unanimously. It now goes to the governor’s desk for signature.

“The reason DCFS exists is to protect kids. In recent years, that overriding priority has gotten lost,” Hernandez said. “With this bill, we’re laying the groundwork for more reforms and better outcomes for the ones who matter most, our kids.”

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