(FOX 32) - The Illinois Department of Children and Family Services is facing new scrutiny.
The Cook County Public Guardian is accusing the agency of forcing children to sleep on the floor because of a shortage of beds. Charles Golbert says he knows of seven such children who have been forced to sleep on a cold floor, and after trying to go through the proper legal channels to get DCFS to open their records, he is taking his case to court.
It was a heartbreaking report as told by Golbert, who describes children as young as five being forced to sleep on an office room floor right after being removed from their homes.
"These are actual kids already traumatized and they're being told – ‘here sleep on a floor' -- because we don't have anywhere for you to sleep," Golbert said.
He believes it is because of recent changes with DCFS, that they did a little restructuring of their space, reducing the number of shelter beds by 500 in the last five years.
"Just this year, DCFS converted one floor of its shelter for other purposes what formerly had been shelter beds," Golbert said.
A lawsuit was filed in Cook County Monday that seeks to force DCFS to disclose their records. The agency, so far, has refused to disclose how many children have stayed overnight in a DCFS office.
"The cases we're aware of, they went to the shelter first. They were told that the shelter was full and so then they were taken to offices in the middle of the night where they slept," Golbert said.
It is the latest in a series of recent cases against DCFS, including the Crystal Lake murder of 5-year-old AJ Freund -- who was under DCFS supervision.