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State Week: DCFS makes a push for improvement

State Week 23 logo (capitol dome)
Brian Mackey
/
NPR Illinois

No state agency gets more negative headlines than the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services. Along with tragic outcomes, the department has struggled to keep up with demand and provide proper placements.

A new director has taken over. Heidi Mueller recently updated a judge about efforts to find better housing options. This comes as the agency is in line for an increase in funding and a push to bring on more case workers.

Our panel discusses DCFS on this episode. We also recap legislation to amend the Biometric Information Privacy Act, place new requirements on funeral homes, bring more resources to public defenders and address using artificial intelligence in creating child pornography.

Host Sean Crawford is joined by Professor Emeritus Charlie Wheeler and Chicago Tribune reporter Jeremy Gorner.

The former director of the Public Affairs Reporting (PAR) graduate program is Professor Charles N. Wheeler III, a veteran newsman who came to the University of Illinois at Springfield following a 24-year career at the Chicago Sun-Times.
Jeremy covers state government and politics for the Chicago Tribune.