Margaret Kennedy (May 1977 to January 1979)
Margaret Kennedy became the DCFS Director in 1979, she had to tell inadequately
funded private agencies with the bad news that extra money wouldnt
be arriving for at least a year. At the same time, child abuse reports
were growing, and limited staff meant rising backlogs. There were also
chronic shortages of foster homes, which resulted in some older Chicago
youth being placed into hotel rooms, while younger children were housed
in overcrowded foster homes.
money and additional staff positions gradually trickled in. The Department
improved its relations with private agencies, and Kennedy was able to
turn attention to training. She work with the American Humane Association
to develop specialized child protection training for staff, and provided
workshops to police Departments throughout the state. Day care licensing
also strengthened during Kennedys administration.