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Eight Forty-Eight

State guardianship's role in caring for mentally ill kids

Some wards of the state end up in psychiatric hospitals like Chicago Lakeshore Hospital. Over the years, the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services has made great strides in finding homes for abandoned, neglected and traumatized kids. Some families, like the one profiled in Rehman Tungekar's piece, choose to give up custody of their adopted children because they can't afford treatment for mental illness; but DCFS has little power of supervision once children leave the agency. When the University of Illinois at Chicago issued reports that were highly critical of some of the region’s private psychiatric hospitals this year, DCFS was limited in what actions it could take. To learn more about the challenges facing the agency and its charges, Eight Forty-Eight was joined by the deputy director for the Division of Clinical Services at DCFS, Cynthia Tate.

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