Report: DCFS investigator caseloads too high

March 5, 2012

Associated Press

A new media analysis finds caseloads for Illinois Department of Children and Family Services investigators are too high.

The Chicago Tribune reports Sunday that the biggest trouble spots are in Cook County, the counties around Chicago and in southern Illinois. The newspaper says its analysis found the department is violating a 1991 federal consent decree that aimed to set monthly limits on new cases for investigators.

Investigators should handle about two dozen cases at a time, but the newspaper's survey found they often have 40 or more cases.

DCFS spokesman Kendall Marlowe says it would be a mistake to attribute the recent deaths of two Chicago-area children to worker caseloads. Marlowe says hiring more investigators would solve the problem if that were the case, "and it won't."