CHICAGO (CBS) — From small business to big government, organizations are reinventing themselves daily during the coronavirus outbreak.
But what about caring for the state’s most vulnerable youth?
CBS 2’s Chris Tye checked in with the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services, and found the game plan for at-risk kids is still unclear.
There are ironclad rules in place from the state’s Department of Children and Family Services to govern foster homes, hospitals, and treatment centers for kids.
The facilities make up about 85 percent of staffers working with at-risk kids.
But a memo from DCFS out just out Wednesday exposes deep gray areas to those iron-clad rules as they relate to COVID-19.
When asked, “How should organizations manage large absenteeism by staffers?” the state says they are developing a response to this question and will respond as soon as it is finalized.
When asked about guidance to overall staff shortages, DCFS says they are “developing a response” to this question and will respond as soon as it is finalized.
Caregivers for the thousands of kids in state care are waiting word from DCFS on whether they should be allowed to ride public transportation.
As of Wednesday night, there was zero policy on it.
And DCFS still is not sure whether biological parents should be notified if their child in state care has been quarantined.
And when asked what happens if critical home visits to at-risk kids don’t happen? The DCFS said they are still working on a policy.
And what about the critical child welfare hotline that responds to new cases of kids being abused? How is that being staffed in the COVID-19 era?
We asked for comment multiple times. The state did not get back to us.
The DCFS does offer clarity for workers on what criteria need to be met to conduct in-home welfare checks.