February 22, 2006

DCFS failed to notify archdiocese in priest abuse case

Chicago Tribune

By Ofelia Casillas and Manya A. Brachear
Tribune staff reporters
Published February 22, 2006

The Illinois Department of Children and Family Services apparently violated its own policies when it failed to notify Catholic officials the agency had found credible evidence that a West Side pastor had abused a child, according to a Tribune review of DCFS procedures.

Agency policies available online state that if DCFS investigates a person who is in a job that puts him in frequent contact with children, the agency is required to notify employers about the allegations of abuse and the result of the investigation. If the person works for a school, the school administrator must be told.

But DCFS has said it did not notify Cardinal Francis George, other Chicago archdiocese officials or the school where Rev. Daniel McCormack worked that it was investigating him, and it also did not tell them the outcome of the investigation.

While archdiocese officials have acknowledged they did not move quickly enough to remove McCormack and did not pursue an aggressive investigation themselves, they said Tuesday that they were not the only responsible party to make mistakes.

Posted by kshaw at February 22, 2006 09:33 AM