SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WAND) – A total of 347 pairs of shoes representing deceased children who died under DCFS care or control in the past three years were lined up on the floor of the Illinois State Capitol.

“It’s heartbreaking. You sit here and look at all of this,” said State Rep. Dan Caulkins (R-Decatur). 

Most of the criticism of DCFS and its director, Marc Smith, has come from Republican lawmakers. Thursday afternoon on the floor of the House, a Democrat rose and tore into the troubled agency.

“This department is a stain on the state of Illinois,” stated State Rep. Carol Ammons, (D-Urbana). “We intend to look deeply into the function, the operations and the misconduct of this department.”

Ammons went on to say the poor and minorities are the ones suffering the most.

“Children whose parents are suffering from the issue of poverty lose their children for longer times if they are African-Americans,” Ammons said.

State Rep. Sue Scherer (D-Decatur) said she has been told by the Illinois auditor general that an audit of DCFS will be released in May. She did not offer any details about what is in the audit.