February 19, 2006

DCFS wants church records

Chicago Tribune

By Manya A. Brachear
Tribune staff reporter
Published February 19, 2006

Days after the Catholic Archdiocese of Chicago promised to report future abuse allegations to child welfare agents, the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services says church officials are reluctant to give up information about past cases they have already investigated.

In letters from DCFS director Bryan Samuels to Cardinal Francis George last week, the agency said the church had an obligation to report all allegations--past and present--to protect children.

"We think that looking at all those allegations is in the interest of kids and in the interest of the community at large," Samuels said Saturday. "The more information we have, the better we understand what has happened in the past, the greater the likelihood we can prevent things from happening in the future. We would hope over time that the archdiocese agrees with us."

Colleen Dolan, director of communications for the archdiocese, said that although discussions between the church and the state agency continue, those cases are closed for now. All allegations, she said, have been reported to prosecutors.

Posted by kshaw at February 19, 2006 06:42 AM