AP NEWS

DCFS wants to improve policies after 2-year-old’s death

March 6, 2019

DECATUR, Ill. (AP) — The interim director of Illinois’ child welfare agency told a state House committee it’s taking steps to improve policies and practices after a 2-year-old Decatur girl died from starvation and deprivation.

Department of Children and Family Services interim director Debra Dyer-Webster told lawmakers Tuesday that short-term steps include reducing caseloads, upgrading technology and giving higher-risk cases back to DCFS from private agencies. The (Springfield) State Journal-Register reports Dyer-Webster said “over the long-term it’s clear we have a lot more work to do.”

Police say Ta’Naja Barnes’ body was found in a urine-soaked blanket. Her mother, Twanka L. Davis of Decatur, has pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder charges in the girl’s Feb. 11 death. DCFS had placed Ta’Naja and her brother in foster care before they were returned to their mother.

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Information from: The State Journal-Register, http://www.sj-r.com