During a drug raid on the far South Side on Saturday, the police found a 3-year-old boy chained by the neck to a bed in a foster home where they also found cocaine, cannabis and unregistered firearms. On Friday, responding to a teacher’s aide’s report of child abuse, the police found six youngsters — all former wards of the state — locked in an unheated basement with no food or toilet and only a quilt and a few pillows to cover the concrete floor.

”It’s horrifying when we see a case like that, but that is not typical of foster care in Illinois,” said Martha Allen, chief of staff at the state’s Children and Family Services Department, whose inspector general is investigating the cases. ”Every now and again we have incidents where something bad has happened in a foster home — the answer can’t be, don’t put kids in foster homes anymore.”