Illinois Child Agency Director Resigning, Says Abuse Claims ‘Appalling”

January 07, 2015
 
Acting DCFS Director Bobbie Gregg

Illinois Acting DCFS Director Bobbie Gregg, who says she'll leave office later this month.

(DCFS)

Illinois Department of Children and Family Services Director Bobbie Gregg says abuse claims at centers where wards of the state are housed are "appalling'' and "unacceptable,'' but have plagued child welfare in Illinois for decades.

Gregg testified Wednesday before state lawmakers in the wake of a newspaper investigation.

The Chicago Tribune has published a series looking into allegations of violence, assault and prostitution at privately-run residential treatment facilities. The Tribune cited interviews and data from the agency.
 
Gregg says she hopes the lawmaker hearings on the issue are a chance to pursue reforms.
 
She was named to the post last year by outgoing Gov. Pat Quinn. Gregg says her tenure won't be renewed and she's leaving the job later this month after Gov.-elect Bruce Rauner takes office.

Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart, who also testified Wednesday, says people need to be held accountable for reported runaways at residential centers where wards of the state are housed.
 
The newspaper reported there were nearly 30,000 runaways between 2011 and 2013.

Dart says some runaways are lured into prostitution. He says more money isn't the answer and managers need do a better job.

Story source: AP