Gregory Coler (January 1979 to December 1983)
Coler is best known as the Director who made DCFS a national leader
in child protection services. Before he even arrived at DCFS in 1979,
Greg Coler asked the legislature for $5.4 million in supplemental appropriations
to add investigators and computerize the Departments manual child
response system. Before this, the old system was composed of paper files
that were accessible only to field staff and only during business hours.
He also replaced 70 field office hotlines with a single statewide toll-free
hotline that was available 24-hours. That same hotline is still in operation
administration also implemented the Departments first computerized
financial management system. Established the Adoption Information Center
of Illinois and rewrote nearly 60 rules that gave workers clear services
timelines and expectations. He also introduced a Child Welfare Initiative
that reformed the Departments core services.
Coler also received the 1985 Commissioners Award from the National
Center on Child Abuse and Neglect for reforming the states antiquated
manual child abuse tracking system into a state-of-the-art model emulated
by other states.