Audit Finds Wards Stranded in Shelters, Psych Hospitals

Associated Press

CHICAGO (AP) – A state audit finds children in the care of Illinois’ welfare system are being housed in psychiatric hospitals and shelters hundreds of days longer than necessary because of the difficulty of finding placements in foster care.

The review of the Department of Children and Family Services was conducted by the state auditor general’s office and released Thursday.

The Chicago Tribune reports that inspectors found one state ward remained in an emergency shelter 357 days last year, far longer than the court-ordered 30 days.

The number of children remaining in psychiatric hospitals longer than medically necessary more than doubled in 2015 from the year before to 168.

DCFS Director George Sheldon acknowledged in an emailed statement that “this is one of the most intractable issues we have been dealing with.”

(Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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