NEW YORK (NY)
Sept. 18. 2019
By Jeffrey Martin
The Illinois Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) is opening 24 cases of alleged priest misconduct that were never investigated. Now, there are concerns that over 1,000 reports of possible sexual misconduct by clergy within the Catholic church were not reviewed properly.
In 2006, the DCFS entered an agreement with the Archdiocese of Chicago. Under the requirements of said agreement, the church was supposed to report any allegation of abuse they became aware of to the DCFS, regardless of the alleged victim’s age. Under state law, these cases do not have to be reported to DCFS if the victim is no longer a minor.
The DCFS received 1,100 reports from the archdiocese under the agreement. But according to the Chicago Tribune, DCFS acting director Marc Smith was unaware of the reports until recently. Since those 24 cases were deemed to merit further investigation, a law firm was brought in to review the DCFS guidelines for processing notifications from the archdiocese.
After the recovery and researching of the reports, DCFS implemented inquiries in certain cases to ascertain if priests named in the reports still have access to minors. However, some reports only featured information about anonymous priests or alleged victims.
Note: This is an Abuse Tracker excerpt. Click the title to view the full text of the original article. If the original article is no longer available, see our News Archive.