Richter Expands CASA’s Services to Help DCFS Children Because ‘Many Children Are Suffering’ After Being Detained Longer Than Necessary – CBS Chicago

CHICAGO (CBS) — On Monday there was news of progress on a problem CBS 2 has been exposing for years – children being confined in psychiatric hospitals longer than medically necessary while in government custody.

On Monday, a Cook County judge extended another helping hand to these children. CBS 2 investigator Megan Hickey has the update.

CONTINUE READING: Jury convicts Ald. Patrick Daley Thompson in the federal tax fraud case

“We are forgotten. We’re just cooped up in these hospitals like they’re shelters or prisons, and they just forget about us,” a teen told CBS 2 Political Investigator Dana Kozlov in October 2020.

It required a legal battle CBS 2 Political Investigator Dana Kozlov talks to a 17-year-old about his psychiatric incarceration which took 67 days longer than it should.

“It actually scared me more,” the teenager said.

CBS 2 discovered it was an issue affecting hundreds of children across the state. The number of children in DCFS care who have stayed in psychiatric hospitals longer than medically necessary has more than quadrupled since 2014. The latest data shows that in a single year there were more than 350 children on that boat.

“I think just being more isolated than usual is a huge, huge problem.”

Cook County Court Appointed Special Counsel (CASA) Kim King knows the problem well.

CONTINUE READING: 5 South Side Catholic Schools Demand End of Mask Mandate in Letter to Mayor Lightfoot

“A lot of kids are developmentally disabled and experience major trauma in their lives, and that only makes it worse,” King said.

Another recent example: DCFS has still not found inpatient accommodation for an 11-year-old girl who was in a psychiatric hospital beyond medical necessity nine months and counting.

But on Monday, a Cook County judge expanded CASA of Cook County’s child advocacy services, automatically assigning those attorneys to care for children who are in psychiatric hospitals past the time of their medical clearance.

“We can reach relatives. We can build relationships and we can certainly have relationships with the kids who are in these relationship shifts for a long time,” King said.

King added it was a very positive update. But at the heart of the problem is the need for more residential beds, or nursing homes, in the state.

“I think funding is a big issue. Because if we don’t put the resources at the back end of the system where we are right now, it’s going to be just another revolving door,” King said.

MORE NEWS: The female coyote caught near the Chicago History Museum last week is in good condition

Cook County CASA needs volunteers to help these kids. They especially need men, people of color and Spanish speakers for support. Click here for more informations. No experience is required.

Comments are closed.