Office of the Inspector General
The position of inspector general for the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services was created by unanimous vote of the Illinois General Assembly in June 1993 to reform and strengthen the child welfare system. The mandate of the OIG is to investigate misconduct, misfeasance, malfeasance and violations of rules, procedures or laws by Department of Children and Family Services employees, foster parents, service providers and contractors with the department. (See 20 ILCS 505/35.5, 35.6, and 35.7)
To that end, the OIG has undertaken numerous investigations and initiated projects designed to improve practice, uncover wrongdoing and increase the professionalism of the department. The value and focus of the OIG is the individual life of the child.
The OIG responds to and investigates complaints filed by the state and local judiciary, foster parents, biological parents and the general public. At the request of the director, or when the OIG has noticed a particularly high level of complaints in a specific segment of the child welfare system, the OIG will conduct a systemic review. Investigations yield both case-specific recommendations and recommendations for systemic changes within the child welfare system. The OIG monitors compliance with all recommendations.
The OIG investigates deaths and serious injuries of all Illinois children who were involved in the child welfare system in the preceding 12 months. The inspector general is an ex officio member of the Child Death Review Team Executive Council.
OIG investigative reports are submitted to the DCFS director. An OIG investigative report contains a summary of the complaint, an historical perspective on the case, including a case history and detailed information about prior DCFS or private agency contact with the family. An analysis of the findings is provided along with recommendations. The OIG also reports to the governor and the General Assembly by way of annual reports, which detail investigative activities completed during the prior fiscal year. Annual reports are prepared without identifying information and are available to the public on this website by clicking here.
OIG reports contain various types of information that are confidential pursuant to both state and federal law. As such, OIG reports are not subject to the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). The OIG has prepared several reports with confidential information deleted for use as teaching tools for private agency and department employees.
Rules of the Office of the Inspector General are published in the Illinois Register at 89 Ill. Admin. Code 430. The rules govern intake and investigations of complaints from the general public, child deaths or serious injuries, and allegations relevant to employee licensure action. The Rules also address the inspector general's reports to the director.
Filing a complaint
If you wish to file a complaint with the OIG, please complete the Request for Investigation form. There are three methods by which you can submit this form:
Mail or in-person delivery
Office of the Inspector General: Intake Department
Illinois Department of Children and Family Services
2240 West Ogden Avenue
Chicago, Illinois 60612
4 West Old State Capital Plaza, 8th Floor
312-433-3032, Attn.: Intake Department
Please note, messages sent to this email address are not encrypted and therefore not completely secure. The most secure method we can currently offer is by in-person delivery, mail or fax. To email, please complete the Request for Investigation form (en español aquí) and follow the instructions at the bottom to submit.
To contact the DCFS Office of the Inspector General by phone, please call 312-433-3000 or 800-722-9124.
The OIG uses some reports as teaching/training tools. The reports are redacted to ensure confidentiality and then made available to private agencies, schools of social work, and DCFS libraries as a resource for child welfare professionals to prompt discussion on individual and systemic problems within the practice of child welfare.
Redacted OIG reports are available from the OIG by calling 800-722-9124 or 312-433-3000.
Need help or want to know more?
For more information, read the Office of the Inspector General Brochure in English and en español; and click here for a list of Frequently Asked Questions