Sustaining & Protecting At-Risk Kids

The Sustaining & Protecting At-Risk Kids (SPARK) working group focused efforts on finding ways to improve outcomes for at-risk youth. 

Our State’s Responsibility for Protecting At-Risk Kids
Protecting vulnerable children is our rsesponsibility as a state. Despite DCFS funding rising to $1.5 billion in the last budget, deaths of children increased by an alarming rate of 40% after having prior contact with the agency. Simply throwing more money at the agency will not fix the problems we face. We are offering proposals to address systemic problems and protect our youth in care

Improving Accountability through Better Caseload Tracking and Reporting
House Republicans propose the establishment of a real case tracking system to support caseworkers, manage caseloads, and to evaluate case plans for kids. Our approach also requires annual reporting to the General Assembly on what is working and what needs further support.

Supporting Families with Pathways to Opportunities
Intact family services should be required for at-risk families while providing continuing assistance and monitoring to ensure homes remain safe for children. Let’s do all we can to improve the family environment before DCFS intervention through the Family First program.

Collaboration to Enhance Protections
Protecting our children is a core responsibility of the state and should not be a partisan issue. House Republicans filed legislation to better integrate concurrent investigations between DCFS and local law enforcement in order to better protect children in vulnerable situations.

The SPARK Working Group introduced legislation designed to protect children in the state's care. More>>

Additional Information