Illinois Department of Children and Family Services Workforce Crisis Task Force met Feb. 16.

Here are the minutes provided by the task force:


Amanda Whitlock



Children's Home & Aid - Senior Vice President, Child Welfare & Behavioral Health Services





Anne Irving









Betsy Goulet (co-chair)



University of Illinois - Springfield & Child Protection Training Academy






Comisa Hamilton



DCFS - Licensing - Acting Deputy Director





Deja Luckett



Illinois Community College Board






Denice Murray



Ascension Advisory Services - Child Welfare






Heidi Farris



Illinois Board of Higher Education






Jason House



DCFS - Budget Office






Joe McDonald



DCFS - Finance - Acting CFO






Lisa Jones



Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity






Mark Stutrud



Lutheran Social Service - CEO






Paola Baldo



Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority - Research Analysis





Rep. Tony McCombie



Illinois State Representative 71st District





Rep. Dan Caulkins



Illinois State Representative 101st District






Rep. Dave Vella



Illinois State Representative 68th District





Rep. Maurice West



Illinois State Representative 67th District







Sarah Daniels



Illinois Collaboration on Youth - Assistant Deputy Director







Sen. Craig Wilcox



Illinois State Senator 32nd District






Sen. Julie Morrison




Illinois State Senator 29th District





Sen. Steve McClure



Illinois State Senator 50th District






Sarah Daniels



ICOY - Assistant Executive Director





Tami Fuller



Children and Family Research Center - University of Illinois - Urbana-Champaign






Non-Members Present for Meeting
Ada Tong



DCFS - Diversity, Equity and Inclusion






Christopher Towers



DCFS - Diversity, Equity and Inclusion






Daniel Fitzgerald



DCFS - Diversity, Equity and Inclusion






Gwendolyn Payton



DCFS - Division of Licensing






Kimberly Bates



DCFS - Office of Employee Services






Jose Lopez



DCFS - Diversity, Equity and Inclusion






Simone Cameron



Legislative District Staff (Legislative office not noted)






Shontee Blankenship



DCFS - Division of Licensing






Kate Smith



DCFS - Legislative Programs Manager






Helena Buckner



DCFS - Deputy Director of Legislative Affairs






Glenda Lashley



DCFS - Special Assistant to the Director






Tracey King



DCFS - Deputy Chief of Staff






1) Welcome/Call to Order/ Roll Call


Kate Smith took roll (see above). DCFS participants introduced themselves.

2) DCFS Updates

• Recruitment: Kimberly Bates

o February 2022 total active headcount 2,951

o January 2022 new hires: 62 (46 direct services; 16 non-direct)

o Fiscal year 2022 Hires

▪ 341 employees

▪ Netting +128 employees

o Employment Requirements

▪ Child Protection: Master’s degree or Bachelor’s degree in Social Work or related human service field w/one year of directly related professional experience

▪ Child Welfare: Master’s degree in Social Work or directly related human service field or Bachelor’s degree in Social Work w/one year of directly related professional experience OR a Bachelor’s degree in a directly related human service field with two years of professional experience

▪ Discussion of expanding titles that would fall under “related human service field”

• Diversity, Equity and Inclusion: Daniel Fitzgerald

o Draft report for bilingual needs assessment based on caseloads and census information 

▪ 30 bilingual staff (tentative)

• Child Protection14

• Supervisors: 1

• Child Welfare: 11

o Final report should be available by next meeting

• Private Sector: Jason House (slideshow presentation)

o DCFS Budget – Investment Trends Through FY23

▪ Investment in private agency salaries (caseworkers, supervisors, and childcare workers)

▪ FY22 $1,556,310,800; FY23 $1,806,420,100

o DCFS Caseload Trends FY17-23 Projected

▪ Intact Family Services: FY22 Est. 4,370; FY23 Proj. 4,570

▪ Youth Served: FY22 Est. 22,911; FY23 Proj. 23,453

▪ Investigations: FY22 Est. 97,400; FY23 Proj. 99,300

o Investments FY23 - Critical Investments in Workforce, Youth Services

▪ $87.1M – Jong Rate Workgroup with Community Based Providers:

• Salary Increases for Privat Caseworkers, Supervisors – 80% of AFSCME starting point with aim of 90%

• Child Care Workers – increase in pay $3/hr

• Additional Private Support Staff – funding new positions

• Increase Support for CBP Liability Insurance and Worker Benefits Packages

▪ $25.0M – Level of Care Support Services

▪ $13.2M – FY22 Workforce Crisis Response March 1, 2022 (within current appropriations):

• Caseworker and Supervisor Salary Increase for:

o Foster Care (CBP)

o Intact Family Services (CBP)

o Child Welfare Service Referrals (CBP)

• Child Care Workers in Residential Facilities:

o $3/hr increase, from $16.62 to $19.62 per hour

o Safety – Glenda Lashley

▪ Safety Workgroup meeting was held on 2/07/22

• Safety devices

o Panic button devices

o Physical protective equipment (body armor)

o Mace/ defensive spray

• Training

o In-person training

o Self defense training

• Assessing risk technique

• Co-responsive support

• Enhance safety measures at DCFS locations

o Enhance lighting/ security cameras

o 24/hr security at some locations

• Public perception

• Best practices in other states

3)Crisis Task Force Recommendations

• Next Steps to Address the Workforce Crisis

o Concrete recommendations from group in final report

▪ Group discussion on strategies/ideas

o To discuss preventative analytics 3/2/22

4) Adjournment

• Meeting was adjourned.