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The Department of Children and Family Services needs to reduce caseloads and take other steps after the “profoundly devastating” death of a 2-year-old Decatur girl whose family had been investigated by the agency before it closed the case, the agency’s interim director told a House committee Tuesday. Read more

Feigenholtz, Child Welfare Committee to Hold Hearing Examining DCFS and Death of Child

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – State Rep. Sara Feigenholtz, Chair of the Adoption and Child Welfare Committee, has scheduled a subject matter hearing to examine the tragic case of Ta’naja Barnes, a two-year-old child from Decatur who died February 11, 2019 despite DCFS and community provider interventions. DCFS will respond to questions at the hearing on Tuesday, March 5 at 2 p.m. in room 122B in the Capitol. Read more.

Governor Pritzker Signs Executive Order Protecting Legal Abortions In Illinois

CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) — Governor Pritzker took executive action Tuesday ensuring abortion and reproductive health protections in Illinois. Read more here.

Syrian Refugee Crisis Seminar Information

The Syrian Refugee Crisis Seminar I held on January 30, 2017, was an encouraging reminder that while those in power try to divide us, we stand together to defend our shared rights and values.

I know that many of you want to know how you can reach out to the organizations that presented, and how you can help refugees coming to America. Please follow the links below to learn more about the organizations that presented, and learn how you can directly get involved.

RefugeeOne. RefugeeOne is the largest refugee resettlement agency in Illinois. This is a great organization to reach out to if you are interested in hosting a refugee family or serving as a mentor to newly arrived refugees.

Syrian Community Network. The Syrian Community Network (SCN) was established by a diverse team of community members with intentions to aid and to assist in easing the resettlement of Syrian refugees. This is another great organization to contact if you are interested in hosting a refugee family or helping them transition to life in America.

American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). The ACLU is leading the legal challenges to President Trump’s executive orders. The ACLU is on the frontline of the fight to defend the rights guaranteed to every person in the U.S. Constitution.

In these turbulent political times, it’s more important than ever that we stand together. We must stand for the values that unite us, and not fall for the rhetoric of division and hate. 

Public Safety Forum – Thursday, October 27th, 6:00-7:30 p.m.


Care for Friends

Care for Friends provides easy access to community, food and overall wellness for Chicago’s most vulnerable and under-served people, in an atmosphere of dignity and respect.

Through its programs, Care for Friends successfully connects people with community resources to enable them to achieve a better quality of life. Check out their website here:

We attended Care for Friends’ fall event – it was a very special evening. Here is a photo with long-time volunteer Mark Bean!

Stay tuned for their January 27th fundraiser, “Sleepout for Homelessness.”  For one night, supporters become homeless in Lincoln Park to raise funds and awareness of this important issue. Find more information online at


Coffee and Conversation – Friday, October 21st – 9:30 a.m. and 3 p.m.


FY20 Budget Update

Click here to see an update on Illinois’ FY20 Budget

What will it take to improve the DCFS agency?

Rick Pearson speaks with Democratic State Rep. Sara Feigenholtz of Chicago about new child care initiatives and additional problems that have been discovered in the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS). Sara shares the similarities that occur in various cases handled in the DCFS system; how to prevent more incidents from happening as the need to hire more case workers continues to grow; and the demand to have more visible accountability. Listen to the episode here.

Lawmakers vow to fix lapses in Illinois child-welfare system

SPRINGFIELD — Illinois lawmakers stepped up on Tuesday to take aim at failures in the state’s child-welfare agency, haunted for decades by deaths wrought of abuse and neglect that state officials too often are too poorly resourced or too poorly managed to prevent. Read more here.

Pritzker orders independent review of DCFS, names new director

Gov. J.B. Pritzker on Wednesday ordered an independent review of the state’s Department of Children and Family Services — and also named a new director — shining yet another spotlight on the embattled agency after the recent deaths of two toddlers. Read more…