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Robert Harris

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  • Illinois pulls wards from Sadie Waterford Manor residential center

     Illinois pulls wards from Sadie Waterford Manor residential center
    State child welfare officials have removed all juvenile state wards from a troubled south suburban residential treatment center after Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart angrily complained that girls were frequently running away, then being sexually assaulted or lured into prostitution.
  • Lawsuit alleges agency's lapses led to fire that killed girl, hurt brother

     Lawsuit alleges agency's lapses led to fire that killed girl, hurt brother
    During a hostage standoff in Cicero two years ago, authorities say, Nathaniel Beler had forced his two children into an apartment bathtub filled with enough gasoline to level the building. The children were taken away from Beler and placed under the...

    Illinois urged to reform programs for young wards; DCFS director steps down

    Illinois urged to reform programs for young wards; DCFS director steps down
    Illinois authorities urgently need to overhaul the state’s mental health programs for impoverished youth or they will only see more of the violence and abuse exposed by a recent Tribune investigation on residential treatment centers, a panel of...

    Children attacked, abused at taxpayer-funded living centers

    Children attacked, abused at taxpayer-funded living centers
    In residential treatment centers across Illinois, children are assaulted, sexually abused and running away by the thousands — yet state officials fail to act on reports of harm and continue sending waves of youths to the most troubled and violent...

    1 family, 3 dead children: Did state miss warning signs?

    1 family, 3 dead children: Did state miss warning signs?
    As her infant daughter lay in a hospital bed, brain-dead and on life support, Angela Petrov revealed to the medical staff a family history steeped in child abuse and murder. Six years earlier, she said, her half sister fatally beat her 5-year-old...