Ill. child welfare agency mulls cuts
CHICAGO – Already in open violation of a federal decree on child welfare investigations, the Illinois agency that oversees well-being of families faces new budget cuts that could lead to hundreds of worker layoffs and the elimination of services that have helped keep thousands of children out of foster care.
The Department of Children and Family Services would see some $85 million in trims under the budget lawmakers passed last month to deal with the state’s financial crisis.
Several agencies are facing steep reductions and difficult decisions as a result, but DCFS Director Richard Calica said the budget cuts could be particularly painful for his department. Each year, it has contact with some 150,000 Illinois children and initiates about 63,000 investigations through a child-abuse hotline.
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