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Federal Judge OKs Improvement Plan for Illinois Child Agency

A federal judge has approved an improvement plan for Illinois' child welfare agency that includes reforms for helping children with psychological, emotional and behavioral problems.   The state agency has been under scrutiny for conditions at residential treatment facilities. One goal addressed in the plan is reducing the time young people stay at the facilities.

U.S. District Court Judge Jorge Alonso signed off on the overhaul. The roughly 60-page document is part of a longtime consent decree aimed at improving care.  It follows an American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois lawsuit. 

The plan outlines leadership structure, pilot programs and more training.  It was submitted to the court in February. The judge has since sought clarification on how the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services would implement it.

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