IL (June 14, 2004) - In a lead-up to this week's state visit by President
Vicente Fox, Mexican Consul General Carlos Manuel Sada joined the state's
top child welfare leader in a signing ceremony to update a unique agreement
to protect the rights of Mexican children reported abused or neglected
agreement is essential to helping us meet the needs of every kid,"
said Bryan Samuels, Director of the Department of Children and Family
Services. "Our Memorandum of Understanding with the consulate is
a recommitment to the nation's first agreement of its kind between a state
child welfare agency and the government of Mexico. The updated agreement
expands protections, gives earlier notices to the consulate and gives
child welfare workers clearer directions on how to serve children who
are Mexican nationals."
memorandum, signed in 2001 between DCFS and the Mexican Consulate in Chicago,
provided protection of Mexican minors involved with DCFS and it ensured
the delivery of services afforded by the Vienna Convention, the Bilateral
Convention and other treaties and laws. It also provided a framework that
allowed DCFS staff and Mexican consular officers to coordinate activities
of mutual interest and concern.
original Memorandum expired in January 2003, the working relationship
continued under an automatic extension that lasted until today's formal
renewal at the new Mexican Consulate building located at 204 S. Ashland
to Director Samuels, the new memorandum is empowered by an updated DCFS
policy guide for staff that requires the exchange of more detailed case
information with the Mexican consulate, as well as the delivery of a recently
published guide for Mexican national parents who become involved with
DCFS investigations. Approximately five percent of the children in the
state's child-welfare system are Hispanic.
this ceremony at Mexico's largest consulate in the United States is very
symbolic," said Director Samuels, "because we both serve a vibrant
and growing Hispanic community that is rich in tradition and family values.
This agreement helps us to ensure that rights are guarded, children at
risk are protected, and families will be strengthened."
Illinois Department of Children and Family Services