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Chicago IL 60601
TTD 312.814.8783

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Springfield IL 62701-1498
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COA DeKalb

DEKALB, Ill. - April 16, 2003 - The Illinois Department of Children and Family Services announced today that its DeKalb Field Office has been accredited by the nationally recognized New York-based Council on Accreditation for Children and Family Services (COA).

"I want to acknowledge the hard work and long hours staff dedicated to achieving this accomplishment," said DCFS Director Jess McDonald. "Without their commitment to improving services to children, this achievement would still be merely a future goal."

The DeKalb office serves children and families in Dekalb and Ogle counties. The staff consists of seven Child Protection Service Workers, five Child Welfare Specialists and several support personnel.

DCFS became only the second state child welfare agency in the United States to achieve accreditation and is currently the largest public child welfare agency in the nation to obtain this goal. Sixty-five of the 74 local DCFS field offices have obtained this high standard of child welfare practice, and the remaining nine offices are next in line to complete this task.

The COA accreditation process mainly involves comprehensive reviews of case files to ensure that documentation supports family needs, particularly as they relate to COA child welfare national standards of Best Practice.

"We have seen the results of meeting COA standards throughout the agency. Every time a local office completes the accreditation process, DCFS proves just how dedicated our employees are to Illinois children and their families," said Director McDonald.

Some of the signs of progress include:

Fewer children being re-abused after DCFS involvement
Fewer children being removed from their home
Fewer children in substitute care

Benefits of accreditation include increased client participation, improved internal operations, a greater accountability to DCFS clients, statewide uniformity in case files, and improved case management and documentation.

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The Council on Accreditation for Children and Family Services is an international, not-for-profit, standard-setting accrediting body that measures an organization's compliance with national standards of best practice that have achieved professional and consumer consensus.

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