DCFS answers tough questions about Semaj Crosby’s death

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JOLIET TOWNSHIP, Ill. -- The Illinois Department of Child and Family Services (DCFS) answered questions on Tuesday about the death of 17-month-old Semaj Crosby at a joint Illinois House and Senate hearing.

Beverly Walker, the new head of DCFS, faced tough questions about what she'll do to protect kids.

Lawmakers were intent on get answers about specific mistakes DCFS made in Semaj’s case and what changes can and are being made to prevent any more tragedies.

And she also wants laws to force background checks for adults who are affiliated with families that are under DCFS investigations.

Semaj was found dead under a couch in a filthy home in Joliet Township back in April, shortly after a caseworker from the DCFS visited the child.

WGN Investigates found that not only did a caseworker visit the child just a few hours before she died, but also, there were several abuse and neglect complaints filed in the past two years regarding children living in the home. Since caseworkers were unable to confirm any of the allegations, the children remained in the home.

Despite an autopsy and toxicology tests, authorities say they still don't know how Semaj died. The Sheriff's Office is awaiting a final autopsy report and detectives are still actively investigating the case.

Beverly Walker said in the future there may need to be new laws or legislative changes that would force families to be more cooperative with DCFS, right now that’s voluntary.

DCFS continues to face public outrage in regards to Semaj's death.



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