Family Defense

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Executive Director Diane Redleaf on WBEZ Print E-mail

Executive Director Diane Redleaf participated in a discussion of the changes needed within the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services on WBEZ on Wednesday, November 20, 2013.


Diane enters the conversation at 10:50 in the clip, and discusses how the majority of each DCFS investigator's caseload are not cases of physical abuse or even neglect but may instead be related to issues stemming from poverty, domestic disruptions, or mental health which would be better remedied by services and support rather than investigation and intervention. She further asserts that we need to triage the investigation system so that investigators can focus on cases in which children are truly at risk and families have access to the support and services which can help them to safely raise their children in their own homes.


familyclipartThe Family Defense Center is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to advocate justice for families in the child welfare system. We advocate for families who need our help the most: families threatened with losing their children to foster care. Nothing is more painful for a child than to be taken from the only parents he or she knows. Yet, child protection systems throughout America frequently remove children from parents as a first resort, not a last resort. Many parents lose custody of their children to state foster care systems primarily because they are poor or because they are victims of abuse themselves. Far too many children in foster care bounce from home to home and are separated from siblings. Any family can be the victim of a false, harrassing, or misguided Hotline call.

Throughout America, families at risk of separation lack legal resources to mount adequate defenses against abuse or neglect charges even when they are innocent.

Our Program Areas Are:

The Family Defense Center is the first of its kind: a legal advocacy organization that provides high level systemic advocacy and grass-roots activities for families treated unfairly by state child protection agencies. The Family Defense Center defends children who can be safely raised in their own families and helps families preserve their right to raise their own children. The Family Defense Center is a member-supported organization, deriving most of its funding from individual contributions. Please consider making a contribution today to help protect children by defending families.

The Family Defense Center
70 E Lake St, Suite 1100
Chicago, IL 60601
t: 312-251-9800
f: 312-251-9801
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Please help us make justice for families a reality. Please make contribution to the Family Defense Center today:

The Family Defense Center is a 501(c)(3) not for profit organization. All contributions are tax-deductible to the extent allowed by law.

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