State Rep. Steve Reick, R-Woodstock, proposed a bill Thursday that would establish a county branch of children and family services to replace Illinois DCFS' operations in McHenry County.

AJ's Law, named after slain Crystal Lake boy AJ Freund, would create a county-run department of children and family services that would operate with the same authority and responsibility as the state agency.

Throughout the last year, DCFS has been criticized for its handling of investigations into AJ's family months before his parents were charged with killing and burying the 5-year-old boy.

If enacted, McHenry County would host a five-year pilot run county-controlled department. The state-funded system would operate under the controlled of an appointed executive director and would return all power to Illinois DCFS if the pilot were unsuccessful.

Reick will elaborate on the bill at a news conference slated to take place at 10 a.m. Friday in the Sheriff's Office Training Room at the McHenry County Government Center, 2200 North Seminary Avenue, Woodstock.

McHenry County