Fred Rogers once said, “Anyone who does anything to help a child in their life is a hero to me.”
This is how I view child protection workers as heroes.
There are currently over 20,000 children in the care of DCFS Illinois. The state is the legal “guardian” of these children, and as citizens of Illinois, that makes them our responsibility as well. We rely on child protection staff to ensure that we fulfill our responsibilities to care for these children.
Unfortunately, we don’t give the thousands of child protection workers in our communities the recognition they deserve for the difficult and often unnoticed work they do to help children and families in difficulty.
The current workforce crisis is having a huge impact on child protection professionals being asked to “do more” with less support. In one day, a worker may have to help a family navigate access to community services, appear in family court, and set up special education services each for a different child they care about. charge. They keep doing the work because they care. Illinois’ child welfare system is not perfect. Change is needed, but let’s not forget those who are in the trenches every day trying to do what’s best for our most vulnerable children.
September 12-16 is Child Welfare Worker Appreciation Week, and I ask that you show your appreciation for these workers in your community. Recognize them for the heroes they are and thank them for going above and beyond for the children and families of Illinois.