SPRINGFIELD - As election-year politics heats up, two Democrat lawmakers involved in overseeing the troubled Illinois Department of Children and Family Services are suddenly admitting the agency faces "horrendous" challenges in the year ahead.
They include yet another search for a new child-welfare chief, anticipated budget cuts and election year politics. Politicians fear that efforts to help the agency could suffer if a replacement is not quickly found for recently resigned Arthur Bishop. He was the fourth chief to head the agency in less than a year's time. A change in governor after November's election could also mean yet another leadership shift.
State Sen. Julie Morrison, a Deerfield Democrat, chaired a series of hearings last fall in response to a rash of problems at the agency. She says the leadership void puts any future reforms on hold.