Who does the Inspector General report to?
The Inspector General reports to the Director of DCFS and the Governor. Although the OIG is an office within DCFS, its work, staff and budget are independent of the Department. The findings of OIG investigations are discussed during monthly meetings with the Director. Before January 1 of each year, the OIG submits a report detailing its efforts during the previous fiscal year to the Governor and the Illinois General Assembly.
Does the OIG accept abuse and neglect reports?
No. The OIG accepts complaints regarding the conduct of child welfare service providers employed by the Department or contracted private agencies.
Abuse and neglect reports should be directed to the Illinois child abuse and neglect hotline (800-25-ABUSE, or 217-524-2606) for immediate investigation.
Are anonymous calls accepted? If I register a complaint will my name be revealed?
Anonymous complaints are accepted, provided the request for investigation contains sufficient information to allow independent corroboration of the allegation. The OIG will not reveal the name of a complainant during an investigation. However, once an investigation is completed, if alternate evidence cannot be located, the complainant may be required to provide testimony or an affidavit to support the original allegation. If a complainant requests anonymity, the OIG makes every effort to obtain necessary information from alternative sources in order to preserve the complainant's anonymity.
How long does it take to complete an investigation?
The OIG's commitment to thorough investigative practice precludes the establishment of a definitive timeline for the completion of investigations. Record retrieval and review, interviews with relevant witnesses and interactions with involved medical and law enforcement personnel are examples of aspects of the investigative process with indeterminate time frames. The OIG makes a concerted effort to complete investigations within a reasonable period of time.
Will I be contacted when an OIG investigation is completed?
The OIG does not notify complainants when an investigation is completed.
If I file a complaint, will I receive a copy of the OIG report?
No. OIG reports contain restricted information obtained from confidential reports. The reports are not available to the general public or subject to Freedom of Information Act requests. Reports may be shared with the child welfare system in order to implement recommendations. In addition, the OIG may remove confidential information from reports and distribute reports within the child welfare field as teaching tools.
Why didn't the OIG investigate my complaint?
The OIG can only initiate investigations when a complaint states facts that, if true, would amount to misconduct or a violation of DCFS Rules or Procedures. Reports of criminal activity are referred to the appropriate law enforcement agency. Allegations of child abuse and neglect are investigated by the DCFS Department of Child Protection (DCP). In addition, if a factual question is pending before another tribunal, such as juvenile court, the OIG will not investigate unless directed to do so by the court.