19 kids have slept in DCFS offices since July 1

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CHICAGO —WGN Investigates has learned a startling statistic about children sleeping in offices while in the care of Illinois' Department of Children and Family Services.

Nineteen children have spent the night in either a DCFS office or private agency office since July 1, the agency confirmed.

On Monday, WGN Investigates reported that a 10-year-old child in DCFS's care was forced to spend the past weekend at a state office not intended or equipped to be used as a shelter.

"For me, it’s unacceptable for a child to be in our office without a safe, nurturing home for any amount of nights," said DCFS Acting Director Mark Smith. "We’re working closely with our community partners to make sure these things don't happen again.”

Experts said a shortage of emergency shelter beds and other placements continue to plague DCFS.  The governor has pledged more money to help alleviate the problem.

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