The Illinois Dept. of Children and Family Services is tasked with representing the best interests of the state’s most vulnerable residents— children. But Chicago Sun-Times columnist Mary Mitchell wonders if sometimes they do more harm than good for Illinois’ children.
To illustrate her point, she recounts the story of 41-year-old single mother Wonda Guider. A judge in Cook County’s Domestic Relations Division ordered her 6-year-old daughter to be temporarily placed with her biological father because Wonda Guider refused to move her to Queen of Martyrs Catholic School in the Far South Side.
The girl was at that school for kindergarten but her mother moved to her a closer one because she had to wake her up each morning at 4 a.m. to get her there in time. She lives 180 miles away in Austin. Besides, Wonda Guider pointed out, she is not Catholic.
Given the tremendous leverage judges have in family law matters, having a skilled Illinois family lawyer by your side for custody proceedings can really help your case.
Since the article does not mention a Chicago family law attorney, it’s not clear whether or not Wonda Guider has representation.
But it appears as if justice is not being served, at least according to the column. The girl told her mother that her father’s financee’s son touched her genitals last year, which both the court and the guardian ad litem acknowledged.
It even was reported to DCFS but they declined to investigate on account of the boy’s age (he was eight at the time, while she was 5). DCFS spokesman Kendall Marlowe explained:
“As part of the resolution of class-action litigation, one of the rules that was put in place with court approval is that we do not investigate, as perpetrators, children under the age of 10.”
So is this little girl falling through the cracks of the child-welfare system? Maybe; but it just goes to show how important it is to hire a competent Illinois family law attorney for such important disputes.