At 59, Pam Knight had been a police officer for six years before turning her attention to protecting children. Unable to have kids of her own, she devoted her life and career to DCFS and was a caseworker for 32 years.
On Sept. 29, 2017, Pam Knight got a call to remove a two-year-old from an at-risk home. The father had a violent history. Around 5 p.m., before heading over with a police escort, she called her husband and said she, “had to go to the house from hell and remove this baby because it was in danger.”
The officer with Pam Knight backed off when her journey to take custody of the boy took her into another jurisdiction.
At the house, Pam Knight was attacked by the father of the boy. She died four months later on Feb. 8, 2018. Since then, her husband, Don Knight has been on a mission.
“My mission is to change the way DCFS operates the business,” he said. “I’m not mad, I’m not angry. I’m determined to make people understand they have problems and they need to be changed.”
He also wants consistency between DCFS offices so caseworkers have a clear protocol to follow across the state. His idea is to create a numbered rating system that’s clean and easy for all to understand, and wants all cases called into the hotline to begin with a high-risk status, requiring a police escort for several visits until the environment inside is determined to be safe enough for a DCFS investigator to go there alone.
Pam’s Law was before Illinois legislators this session and would protect DCFS workers the same way firefighters, police officers and teachers are protected if a crime is committed against them on the job. “The law is in place, we just need to upgrade the laws and add in the DCFS workers,” he said.
The bill never got traction, so his quest for change continues.
To read the full and unedited article from WGN9, please click here.
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