State DCFS head resigns post

Nov 15, 2013

The head of Illinois’ troubled child welfare system resigned Friday.  A press release from the governor’s office says the director has been diagnosed with cancer.  The resignation comes in the wake of recent media reports on the child welfare system, including an investigation on child deaths by WBEZ  and the Chicago Sun-Times.  

 Richard Calica became director of the Department of Children and Family Services two years ago...after a rapid succession of directors.

 In a release from the governor’s office - Pat Quinn says Calica has taken DCFS in the right direction.

 Quinn credits Calica for adding 138 investigators to check in on families.

 And drastically reducing caseloads for workers.

 DCFS Chief of Staff Denise Gonzales will become acting director of the department.

 Calica’s resignation comes after WBEZ and the Chicago Sun-Times reported child deaths resulting from abuse and neglect are up - even after the department had investigated the families.

 The governor’s office indicated Calica’s resignation had nothing to do with the results of that investigation.