the Voice of
The Communist League of Revolutionary Workers–Internationalist
“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.”
— Karl Marx
Mar 20, 2023
This January, the Cook County Guardian—the official in charge of the County’s foster children—sued the Illinois Department of Child and Family Services (DCFS). Seventy-three foster children were held in the county’s juvenile detention facilities for weeks or months, because DCFS could not find a home for them to go to. Janiah Caine, now 18, was held for nearly half a year after her discharge, causing her to miss her grandmother’s funeral. “It feels like nobody cares about you, and they were the people supposed to get me out of a bad situation, but put me in another bad situation,” she said at a press conference for the lawsuit.
Why is this happening? DCFS says it does not have enough placements: not enough foster homes, not enough group homes, not enough residential facilities. The department by its own account served 425,000 children last year—up by more than half from a decade ago. The department’s budget during that decade did not increase—in fact, it dropped. Case workers are overloaded; many burn out quickly from overwork.
Young people in foster care have already seen the worst of this society—that’s how they end up in the system. They pass from a terrible situation, only to be confronted with institutional neglect at the hands of DCFS.
It’s quite telling: when the banking system is threatened, the ruling class moves heaven and earth to try to address the problem—immediately. But for these young people, they offer nothing.