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First DCFS town hall meeting encourages dialogue between the department and community residents

Chicago, IL (October 27, 2003) - The Illinois Department of Children and Family Services' (DCFS) Director Bryan Samuels will host a town hall meeting today to encourage public dialogue between the department and the families it serves. The meeting will take place from 6 to 8:30 p.m. at Northeastern Illinois University's Center for Inner City Studies, located at 700 E. Oakwood Boulevard in Chicago.

"This is a time for community residents to not only better understand the services we provide, but also tell us what we're doing right, as well as what we're doing wrong," said DCFS Director Bryan Samuels. "It's also an opportunity to begin to create a dialogue about where child welfare should be going in the future."

Although this is the first town hall meeting organized by the DCFS Office of External Affairs under the new management team structure, it is one of many community outreach efforts underway to improve the relationship between the department and Illinois' children and families. Director Samuels will introduce the deputies and appointed designees of the departmental divisions and will also give a status report on services provided to the community.

The forum will be moderated by Robert T. Starks, Director of the Harold Washington Institute for Research and Policy Study, and professor of Inner City Studies and Political Science at Northeastern Illinois University.

"This has been designed to be an interactive forum for the community," said Director Samuels. "Therefore, it is imperative that the community knows they are needed to make this evening productive. We urge anyone who comes to be prepared to think about ways we can re-shape and re-mold the DCFS system in order to better serve the children and families of Illinois."

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