SPRINGFIELD – To ensure Illinois’ Department of Children and Family Services caseworkers are safe during home visits, State Senator Doris TSenator Turnerurner introduced a measure that would make it a felony if a person commits aggravated battery against a caseworker or investigator while they are preforming their duties.

“DCFS employees protect our most vulnerable children and are often the most trusted person for our youth in case,” said Turner (D-Springfield). “We have heard about the caseworkers who have risked their lives during a home visit – they should feel safe while doing their job.”

Senate Bill 2010, also known as the Knight-Silas Legacy Act, comes in response to two DCFS caseworkers, Pamela Knight and Deidre Silas, who were killed during home visits. The Turner-led measure would make it a felony if a person over 21 years old commits aggravated battery against a DCFS caseworker or investigator while they are working.

The legislation would put DCFS workers in the same status of other front line workers, such as teachers or school employees, peace officers and private security officers. Since a majority of DCFS caseworkers are contracted, this measure would include contract workers as DCFS employees.

“Being a voice for our youth in care isn’t easy, but it’s important for the safety and well-being of the child,” Turner said. “We don’t want to punish children in care. We want to make sure they are living in a safe, stable home.”

Senate Bill 2010 has been assigned to the Special Committee on Criminal Law and Public Safety.

Category: Press Releases

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