Every year, an average of 18 children in Illinois die at the hands of adults. Our child homicide rate hasn’t budged in the last 11 years, despite our state’s overall homicide rate is down 26 percent.
What may be even more disturbing is that in many of those cases, state officials were warned. That’s the subject of The Chicago Reporter’s latest investigation, Dying For Attention (LINK). In 20 percent of child homicide cases, officials from the Illinois Department of Child and Family Services investigated the child’s situation within a year of their death and dismissed allegations as “unfounded.”
In 60 percent of those cases, the person accused in the “unfounded” abuse allegations was the same person accused of killing the child. Many of the kids were even wards of the state at the time of their death.
DCFS officials insist they’re doing the best they can, but experts we spoke to cited a need for more training and smaller caseloads. You won’t want to miss the full investigation, Dying for Attention (LINK), in this month’s new issue of The Chicago Reporter.