State

Illinois announces upgrade to child abuse hotline

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — Illinois' child welfare agency has launched a new computerized child abuse hotline in response to complaints its old system was failing to handle the volume of calls.

The Illinois Department of Children and Family Services announced the new $474,000 system Wednesday.

The department received more than 250,000 calls last year, but a majority of the callers didn't immediately reach a child abuse expert and had to be called back.

The department's new director, Richard Calica (KAHL'-ih-kuh), says the hotline's problems meant unacceptable delays in sending investigators out into the field and getting help to children and families. Calica says replacing the old hotline is a smart investment.

The hotline is staffed 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The toll-free number is 1-800-25-ABUSE (1-800-252-2873).

Loading more

Digital Access

Digital Access
Access nwherald.com from all your digital devices and receive breaking news and updates from around the area.

Home Delivery

Home Delivery
Local news, prep sports, Chicago sports, local and regional entertainment, business, home and lifestyle, food, classified and more! News you use every day! Daily, weekend and Sunday packages.

Text Alerts

Text Alerts
Stay connected to us wherever you are! Get breaking news updates along with other area information sent to you as a text message to your wireless device.

Email Newsletters

Email Newsletters
We'll deliver news & updates to your inbox. Plan your weekend and catch up on the news with our newsletters.