The state’s Department of Children and Family Services reports higher rates of child abuse in downstate Illinois. Illinois’ Child Abuse Hotline received more than 25,000 calls from July through October, a 5.4 percent jump compared with last year. DCFS spokesman Dave Clarkin says it’s a trend that’s increased over the past decade in central and southern Illinois, even as the number of child abuse cases in Cook County have declined:
CLARKIN: “Because we do monthly looks at all of these numbers, part of our response was last month to announce a reorganization plan that would move staff to the front-lines in these hard-hit areas. We want to increase the number of front-line field investigators that we have, so that we can get children and their families the help they need as quickly as possible.”
But those plans are contingent on getting more money. Legislators cut the department’s budget in the spring, and DCFS says it needs the funding restored …
CLARKIN: “So that we can grapple with these problems in areas across the state.
Otherwise, DCFS could have to layoff case workers.