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Child Protection

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Danielle Deloach,
(Supervisor)

Cook County Department of Family and Children Services

Our job and our goal at Cook County DFCS is to match the families at risk with the resources available in hope of building a stronger and more secure family unit. It is our belief that when families are given the tools to cope with the stresses they are under, that the risk to children will be greatly reduced.

Cook County DFCS Services Unit

The Cook County DFCS Services Unit is dedicated to the protection and safety of the children and adults vulnerable to abuse and neglect in Cook County. The Unit is comprised of smaller units; specialized to handle the different kinds of cases encountered by the agency. They include the Child Protective Services Unit (CPS), Placement Unit (PLC), and the Adult Protective Services Unit (APS). The Unit is also assisted by a Program Assistant and a Family Service Worker (FSW), who work with each individual Unit to help provide quality services.

Child Protective Services

The CPS Unit is comprised of 5 Social Service Case Managers. Three of these workers are primarily responsible for Investigating CPS Reports of abuse and/or neglect and providing Ongoing CPS. One of these Case Managers carries a small PLC caseload and also investigates and provides Ongoing CPS.

One Case Manager serves as a School Resource Case Manager, which is funded both by Cook Co. DFCS and the Cook County Board of Education. It is a collaborative effort to provide a liaison to the schools to help streamline and enhance the work of CPS in the school system. The School Resource CM screens cases presented at the schools, assist the schools in decision making about these cases, and assist the other Case Managers with contacts within the school setting. This Case Manager also provides education to the students through Good Touch/Bad Touch instruction and to the Teachers about child abuse/neglect.

The priority focus of CPS is the safety of the child. When an investigation is substantiated, a case will be worked with through Ongoing CPS to help the family eliminate those factors identified as having created risk to the child(ren) in the home. However, there are times when the risk is such that removal of the child from the home becomes necessary in order to ensure the childs safety and well being. When this occurs a child is placed into protective custody and the case is transferred to the PLC Unit.

Placement Services

The PLC Unit is comprised of one PLC Case Manager and one Resource Development (RD) Case Manager. This Unit provides Foster Care for children who are at such risk in their homes that leaving them there would place their lives or well being at great risk.

A PLC Case Manager will first work with the family in an effort to achieve reunification by eliminating those factors that resulted in the childs removal from the home. However, the PLC Case Managers first priority is the care of the child, which includes every aspect of day to day attention a child requires in order to meet his/her needs. This is achieved with the help of Foster Parents and, when needed, Group Homes. Cook County is proud to have an excellent network of Foster Families dedicated to serve the children placed in their care with the love and attention they need and deserve.

When a family has not successfully completed the goals set forth for them to achieve reunification with their child, the focus of the PLC Case Manager shifts to finding a permanent placement for the child. First priority is always given to finding a suitable family member willing to take on the responsibility of raising the child to adulthood. When this cannot be done the agency will often seek a termination of parental rights through the courts, at which time the child becomes available for adoption.

The RD Case Manager is responsible for finding an adoptive placement for the child once TPR has occurred. The RD Case Manager will exhaust all possible resources for the child in order to match him/her with the best possible family. This Case Manager also assists other counties and States, working through the Office of Adoptions, with placing children for adoption when a resource is identified in Cook County for a child.

The RD Case Manager is also responsible for recruiting and training prospective Foster/Adoptive Families in Cook County. The training is done through the Model for Partnerships in Parenting (MAPP) program; a 12-week intensive class designed to prepare prospective families for Fostering and/or Adopting children. Once a family is approved, the RD Case Manager continues to provide training for re-certification of the families each year.

Adult Protective Services

The APS Unit is comprised of one APS Case Manager, who works with adults who have been identified as being at risk of abuse/neglect either from others or from themselves. The adults in this caseload may also be victims of exploitation, where people have taken advantage of them and/or have denied them of that which they need to live. The APS Case Manager is responsible for investigating the reports and then providing Ongoing APS for people who have been found to be vulnerable to abuse/neglect and/or exploitation. Eliminating the problems associated with these issues requires the identification and utilization of resources that are available to those individuals. However, it has been necessary to obtain Guardianship of an adult at risk in order to ensure their safety and well being. It may also be necessary for the agency to become a Representative Payee for people who cannot manage their money or who are unable to do so. The APS Case Manager works with those individuals to make sure their daily needs are met.

Family Service Worker

When CPS, APS and/or PLC need assistance working with a family or individual, they call on the FSW. This Workers responsibilities vary from case to case, and may range from providing parenting instruction to providing transportation for Foster Children to helping a elderly person remain in their home by assisting with day to day chores. The FSW is an integral part of the Services Unit, whose involvement in cases has been the key element in the elimination of risk in those homes. When the FSW is called into the case, the chances for success increase dramatically.

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Cheryl Hughes (Supervisor)- CPS

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Cindy Brown--APS Worker 
 
 
 

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Marcella Yeomans--CPS
 
 
 
 
 

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Sharon Bradshaw--CPS
 
 
 
 

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Rhonda Fletcher--CPS






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Melissa Roe-- Program Assistant






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Connie Westberry--CPS






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Jennifer Plair--Family Service Worker






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Faith Eilders-- Resource Development






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Eric Martin-- Placement






Program Assistant

The central hub of the Services Unit is the Program Assistant. The Program Assistant serves as the center of communications and dispatch for the Unit and is the primary Data Entry Operator (DEO) for the Unit. This responsibility is high because of the importance of statistical information in our system today. The Program Assistant also assists the other 10 members of the Unit in almost every aspect of their jobs.

Supervision

The Social Service Supervisor at Cook County DFCS is responsible for supervision of all of the above mentioned program areas. All cases and decisions are routed through the Supervisor, who also serves as a sounding board for issues of concern. The Supervisor is also an instructor, mediator, coach and at times a counselor the people in the Unit. It is the responsibility of the Supervisor to ensure that the staff is well trained, prepared, equipped and supported, so they can do their jobs effectively.

To report incidents of child abuse please call our offices at (229)896-4889 or 3672, Monday through Friday, 8 AM - 5 PM. After hours and on weekends, please call the the Sheriff's Department at (229)896-7471.