A 35-year child welfare veteran has been named to lead the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services.

Arthur Bishop, now chief of the state Department of Juvenile Justice, was appointed DCFS director Friday by Gov. Pat Quinn, effective immediately. He replaces Richard Calica, who resigned in November and died in December after battling cancer.

“Arthur Bishop is a longstanding public servant who has dedicated his professional career to helping Illinois families,” Quinn said in a news release. “I am confident that he will carry out the mission of the department by making the safety and well-being of children across the state priority No. 1.”

Bishop, whose appointment will need state Senate approval, joined DCFS in 1995 as a caseworker after working at several social service agencies. In the late 1990s, he handled the high-profile case of “Baby T,” an African-American boy who ended up in the guardianship of Chicago Ald. Edward Burke (14th) and his wife, Illinois Supreme Court Justice Anne Burke.

Bishop later served as DCFS deputy director of field operations. He’s headed the juvenile justice department since August 2010.

“I am eager to work with department staff to ensure we carry out the mission of protecting and serving the youngest residents of our state,” Bishop said in a statement.

Email: cfusco@suntimes.com

Twitter: @FuscoChris