Authors Christy Gutowski, Elyssa Cherney and Jason Meisner

Cook County’s public guardian sued the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services on Thursday, alleging the beleaguered child welfare agency is causing “immense harm” to mentally ill foster children by keeping them in psychiatric hospitals beyond medical discharge dates as it struggles to find them homes with appropriate services.

“It’s hard to imagine anything that says to a child more, ‘You don’t matter,’ than being in a locked psychiatric hospital when there’s absolutely no reason for you to be there,” said Charles Golbert, the county’s acting public guardian.

“It’s hard to imagine anything that says to a child more, ‘You don’t matter,’ than being in a locked psychiatric hospital when there’s absolutely no reason for you to be there,” said Charles Golbert, the county’s acting public guardian.

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