Fulton County foster parents feel state failed them


FULTON COUNTY (WEEK) — A nearly two year battle for Fulton County foster parents will now have to wait another two months, possibly longer, because they said they were waiting for a state agency assigned case worker.

“We had to go home today and tell our kids we’re sorry, you’re still in foster care we don’t know how long this is going to take,” said foster mom, Amanda Perez.

Amanda and her husband, Diego Perez, took in his ex wife’s two children in 2019 and their biological mother was unfit to care for them. If appointed as legal guardians, they could get the kids out of the foster care system, but they believe the state is working against them.

“I will never do something like this again because of how this agency has done things,” said Perez.

They went to the Fulton County Courthouse on Thursday, to finalize taking custody, but said their case worker did not show up.

The state assigned agency was Lutheran Social Services of Illinois. Perez claimed the agency told her they were short staffed and the teenagers, both 16, were safe.

“You can’t go a month without checking on kids and just assume they’re fine,” said Perez.

The judge will review this case again in August, with another delay to December a possibility.

“A basic thing that every child should get, he can’t do because he’s a foster child,” Perez continued, “He has to keep his money in a sandwich bag because he can’t have a bank account.”

A Lutheran Social Services Spokeswoman told 25 News the agency used due diligence looking into this matter.

Perez said more than five people reached out to her after the court hearing to describe similar issues with the same agency.

The biological mother of the two teens, Dorinda Bishop, was also frustrated.

“They are being held back by an agency that’s not doing their job,” Bishop continued, “It feels like we’re all being failed.”

Perez said she filed a formal complaint with the state against the agency, but she hopes both parties will step up.

“I want change,” said Perez.

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